SUNDERLAND goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen is tipping new striker Patrick Mboma to become an instant success on Wearside as the team prepares for Sunday's visit of arch-rivals Newcastle United.

Mboma, signed on loan until the end of the season from Italian Serie A club Parma, has been impressing his new teammates at the Whitburn training grounds.

The Cameroon international made his switch to Wearside last week after helping Cameroon win the African Nations Cup, when he was the competition's leading scorer with three goals

And Danish goalkeeper Sorensen has been on the receiving end of some of the 31-year-old's finishing power as the £4m-rated, former African Player of the Year has quickly adjusted to his new surroundings.

Sorensen said: "From what I've seen already he looks a great player.

"I've seen him in training and I've watched him in the recent African Nations Cup and he can cause problems in the Premiership.

"He has the chance to become an instant hit at Sunderland - it is some game to make you debut if he plays against Newcastle."

There seems little doubt, however, that Sunderland manager Peter Reid will throw his latest capture in at the deep end in a vitally important game to both teams.

And Mboma is relishing the prospect of a baptism of fire at the Stadium of Light in his new club's biggest game of the season.

He admitted: "I am excited about the prospect of playing in the derby match against Newcastle United.

"It would be a great start to my time here if I could play - but first I have to get in the team!"

It seems certain that Mboma will be given the job of partnering England striker Kevin Phillips in place of 35-year-old Republic of Ireland striker Niall Quinn, who has been troubled recently by a recurrence of an old back injury.

Mboma is raring to go after recovering from a slight groin injury which kept him out of Cameroon's Nations Cup winning final against Senegal - a game decided by penalties.

He said: "I come to Sunderland full of confidence after helping Cameroon to win the African Nations Cup and hopefully that will show through in my game.

"I missed out on the final against Senegal with a small injury, but that has cleared up now.

"It was disappointing to miss the final because I thought I had the chance to score more goals.

"But the main thing was that Cameroon won - that was the most important thing for my country and the other players."

He added: "It was a big boost for me to finish top scorer in the tournament and now I want to have a good run from now until the end of the season to get me in top form for the World Cup Finals this summer."

Mboma realises that success in the last three months of Sunderland's Premiership campaign could be rewarded by a long-term contract.

He said: "I hope things work out well for me here and that I enjoy my time with Sunderland - if there are no problems then perhaps we can work out a permanent move.

Read more about Sunderland here.