JOHN Carver says he never lost faith in Papiss Demba Cisse – even when others doubted him.
Cisse will lead the line against Manchester United at St James’s Park tonight.
He’s a pleasure to work with every day. He’s always smiling. He’s always enjoying what he does. He wants to get better and better, which is great.John Carver
The Newcastle United striker scored his 11th goal of the season against Aston Villa last weekend.
Cisse scored 13 goals in a blistering first few months at the club, but he struggled for form in his first two full seasons on Tyneside.
However, head coach Carver feels the 29-year-old is back to his best – despite a “stop-start” season in which he has been hampered by injury and was absent for a month because of the African Cup of Nations.
“He had that exceptional season – everything hit the net,” said Carver. “The following season he found it tough.
“But he’s a pleasure to work with every day. He’s always enjoying what he does. He wants to get better and better. It’s easy for me to work with him. We’ve got to get the service to him.
“Because he’s had the African Nations and the problem with his knee, people might have gone off him, but we have never gone off him.”
Cisse, the subject of interest the January’s transfer window, could attract more attention in the summer.
“I wanted him to stay and the club kept him,” said Carver. “But if he keeps scoring goals, we might have an issue.”