Newcastle caretaker boss Carver backs Defoe to lift Sunderland

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe
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JERMAIN Defoe has been backed to make a success of his move to Sunderland – by Newcastle United caretaker boss John Carver.

Defoe is set to sign for Gus Poyet’s side after an brief spell in Major League Soccer with Toronto.

And the 32-year-old could make his debut in tomorrow’s game against former club Tottenham at his old White Hart Lane stomping ground.

Carver once managed Toronto, before Defoe joined the club.

While surprised that Defoe didn’t settle, he believes the experienced ex-Portsmouth and West Ham striker will prove an astute signing in the part of Poyet, whose side has struggled in front of goal this season.

Carver said: “I can’t believe he hasn’t settled in Toronto because, let me tell you, Toronto is a fantastic party city!

“It’s a fantastic place, so I was surprised.

“I think it’s a good signing for them. I know that when he went to Toronto he did extremely well, but he had one or two injury problems, so he didn’t play as much as he should have done.

“I know he did have a problem settling there as one or two people told me. He could have been the big star of the MLS.

“In the eyes of the fans in Toronto, he was in a portion of the games he played. He got something like 11 goals in 19 games.

“If he had stayed fit, he may have got them into the play-offs. Their form fell away when he got injured.

“There are some good players going out there now, and it’s a tough league, but he wanted to come back to England and feels like he’s got something to offer and he’s gone to our rivals.”

Former Magpies manager Alan Pardew had been keen to bring Defoe to St James’s Park during his time in charge.