Pardew keen to hold on to Cisse despite Newcastle striker slipping down pecking order

The Northern Echo: KEY MAN: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew does not want to sell Papiss Cisse next month KEY MAN: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew does not want to sell Papiss Cisse next month

ALAN PARDEW expects to be fielding calls about Papiss Cisse next month, but has warned any potential suitors they will have to pay over the odds to sign the out-of-favour striker.

Cisse has not made a single Premier League start since the trip to Cardiff at the start of October, and will not be returning to the starting line-up with Newcastle United entertain Southampton tomorrow.

The Senegal international failed to hit form last season, and a continuation of his struggles has seen him fall below Loic Remy, Shola Ameobi and Hatem Ben Arfa in the attacking pecking order this term.

His fringe status has alerted clubs right across the continent, with Borussia Dortmund and Trabzonspor having been linked with a possible January move after making inquiries about the Senegal international in the summer.

Cisse has also been mentioned as a possible makeweight in a permanent deal for Remy, but Pardew insists he does not want to lose the 28-year-old.

“I am sure that, come January, a lot of team will be looking at our situation,” said the Magpies manager. “But they’d have to spend a lot of money to get him (Cisse).

“I would suggest to any club (wanting to buy him), just look at Mike Ashley’s record of selling players. Would it cost a hell of a lot? Correct.”

Nevertheless, keeping Cisse motivated and content could prove increasingly difficult if he was to remain on the sidelines for the majority of the second half of the season.

Despite last season’s struggles, the former Freiburg striker remained a first-team regular, starting all bar three of Newcastle’s 38 Premier League matches.

The Northern Echo: Papiss Cisse

The current campaign has seen his status markedly diminished, and while Pardew is understandably reluctant to sell with Remy’s long-term future still up in the air, Cisse is unlikely to tolerate an indefinite lack of involvement.

“I am sure he is not ecstatic right now because footballers want to play,” said Pardew. “I have no problem with that. But he certainly has not sulked about it.

“He is trying to do his job, but it is not easy. He has previously been a regular for us, and has been a regular throughout his career, so this is not an easy thing to deal with.

“He is training well and looks sharp and ready, and I genuinely think that before we get to the FA Cup game (in January), he will have played. But he is going to have to take his chance now because Shola has done well.

“Remy is obviously playing well, and Hatem looked terrific when he came on at Man United. So Papiss is in the pool now, and if he wants to be a regular, which Remy is now – and you could not argue with that – he needs to take his chance when he gets it.”

Pardew will encounter one of his former clubs tomorrow, with Southampton travelling to Tyneside as they attempt to arrest a downturn that has seen them win just one of their last seven games.

Their last two away games have seen them lose to Chelsea and Arsenal, while Newcastle go into tomorrow’s game on the back of their best result of the season.

Last weekend’s 1-0 win at Old Trafford ended a 41-year wait for a victory at the home of Manchester United, but there is a determination to ensure the success is a stepping stone to further achievements rather than an end in its own right.

“The message is to keep everyone grounded,” said Pardew. “Especially when we have had so many plaudits this week, which will probably continue right up to the game.

“That always worries managers, but we’ve had a discussion about it. We didn’t allow our standards to drop against Norwich (in the next game after the win over Chelsea). I was really concerned about that one, but we did the job that day.

“I feel confident about this group. The first half at Swansea is about the only time I have been a little bit disappointed in them. Other than that, you can’t argue. We have been absolutely magnificent.”

Having been crowned Manager of the Month for November, Pardew yesterday received the League Managers’ Association’s Performance of the Week award for his side’s win over Manchester United.

The Newcastle boss is understandably proud of his players’ efforts at Old Trafford, and his abiding memory of the afternoon is the sight of thousands of jubilant supporters refusing to leave the ground long after the final whistle had blown.

“When you are a fan of a club, and you’ve not won somewhere for 41 years, you are going to celebrate,” said Pardew. “Our fans certainly did, and it felt very strange afterwards as they wouldn’t leave the stadium.

“I’ve heard stories of stewards trying to chuck them out of the ground as they didn’t want to go. That’s pretty rare. It was a great day for the club, and our fans deserve great days like that as we have the best supporters in the world.”

Comments (1)

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10:53am Fri 13 Dec 13

Dukes says...

should be playing its knocking him down this spell. Papa on his day is great to watch.
should be playing its knocking him down this spell. Papa on his day is great to watch. Dukes

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