DeAndre Yedlin insists he has improved defensively as he braces himself for Sunderland's run-in and a return to Tottenham Hotspur in the summer.

The USMNT defender joined Sunderland on a season-long loan last September and has made 18 appearances for the struggling Premier League club, starting in the last six matches.

Yedlin will return to Spurs in the summer having to compete with Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier for a place but he says manager Sam Allardyce has been aiding his development.

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"My defensive side was something I wanted to work on, especially coming into the Premier League," Yedlin said.

"I felt that was the area of my game that needed the most improvement and the gaffer has really helped me with that.

"Positional awareness comes with experience, so getting game time helps, but we also work a lot in training as a back-line and also on defensive shape.

"Before, sometimes if the ball was played over my head I wouldn't know where I was but now I feel a lot more comfortable. Sometimes I would be going forward when it really wasn't the right time to go too, but now I'm picking my moments better."

Yedlin could do parent club Spurs a huge favour in the title race when his side clash with league-leaders Leicester this weekend, but the 22-year-old insists he is only focused on keeping Sunderland up.

"Beating Leicester would definitely help Spurs, but the focus right now is obviously on us," he said.

"We need these points. I think we've been playing much better in recent weeks,but we still just need to find that last touch."