Spurs ambition wins Carr's commitment

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The Independent Football

The Tottenham captain, Stephen Carr, gave his embattled club a huge morale boost by broadly hinting he could stay on at White Hart Lane next season.

The Irish international was widely expected to move during the January transfer window after Newcastle United joined Manchester United and Arsenal in showing a strong interest in him. But the stylish defender has now revealed his belief that Tottenham's signing of the £7m striker Jermain Defoe shows the North London club are ready to match his own ambitions.

"The Defoe signing is a clear testament to where the club wants to go, and that has got to be Europe," said Carr. "It is a great capture and for the sort of money you would only expect the top three or four clubs to be spending at the present time.

"To be honest it surprised me more than a little, but hopefully it is the first big signing of many that will be made in the next transfer window and, if that is the case, things will look very bright at Tottenham next season."

However, Defoe, who has already opened his Spurs scoring account, fears that his former West Ham team-mate Paolo di Canio could make it another night of mayhem for his new team at Charlton tonight.

"The Mad Italian, that's what I call him," said Defoe, who notched an ultimately decisive debut goal in Saturday's 4-3 win over Portsmouth.

"But he was great to play with. I learned so much off Paolo but if you can't learn something off him then you've got problems. He is such a great player, always capable of producing the unexpected and he's still going strong at around 35."

Charlton snatched a 1-0 win at White Hart Lane in December and are still a highly commendable fifth in the Premiership.

Meanwhile, Ryan Giggs is confident the crush of high-profile fixtures from now until the end of the season will finally see Manchester United hitting top form.

"Hopefully playing twice a week will help us," said Giggs. "We are still up there even though we haven't been playing well but we can't afford to keep scraping results.

"In past seasons we have won matches when our performances haven't been so good and then managed to pick up our form when it got to the really important stages. That is what we need to do now.

"There are some important games coming up and if we don't pick up our form we will be punished."

Saturday's victory kept United two points behind leaders Arsenal and four in front of Chelsea as all the title contenders registered wins, and Giggs knows it is likely to remain tight at the top right down to the final game on 15 May.