MISFIRING striker Papiss Cisse could be given a run out in the Capital One Cup tomorrow night in the hope it will spark him to life on the Premier League stage with Newcastle United.
Magpies manager Alan Pardew had to look on in frustration on Sunday when the Senegal international's poor start to the season continued in front of the club's own supporters.
After failing to score in his first five matches of the season, Cisse fluffed a few decent chances against Norwich City as well as completely missing the target from the penalty spot when his
team-mates tried to boost his confidence.
His penalty miss, having been given the spot-kick instead of Hatem Ben Arfa in the hope it could kick-start his season, left his self-belief at a new low and he looked dejected when he was replaced
in the second half.
Cisse's poor run of form is in stark contrast to that which earned him 13 goals in 15 games following his £9m move from Freiburg in January. Pardew, likely to have rested him in the Capital One
Cup, is seriously considering fielding him at Manchester United tomorrow night.
"I have not picked the side yet, but we will help Papiss (in his efforts to get a goal). That is what we are about," said Pardew. "Myself and my team have got the best out of most of my players
here, particularly Papiss last season.
"That was easy for us. He was scoring goals and you could almost let him run free. Now he needs help and that's where we hopefully come into line.
"He is still getting into positions and, for sure, you worry more if he wasn't. For him, he had three good chances and in training, they are flying in like they always have but in the game
situations, sometimes you just need a bit of luck and that is where he is at."
Pardew was keen to stress after the Norwich win that he was happy to see the rest of the players act on impulse and give Cisse the penalty rather than stick with designated taker Ben Arfa.
Defender Steven Taylor explained: "We all just wanted to get Papiss scoring again. For us we don't regret that and if the chance came along again then I
think the players would probably want the same thing.
"You want your strikers scoring goals and we all want to help him. We are sticking together. We are all united and that incident showed."
Rather than hitting it off as a pair, Newcastle's two Senegal strikers are hitting the net at completely different times. During Cisse's excellent run last season, Demba Ba went on a noticeable
barren run and now the latter has found the net four times already this season as his compatriot struggles.
"I haven't come across a situation like this too often. Certainly not as stark as this," said Pardew. "I remember Bobby Zamora used to go on goal runs. Marlon Harewood was playing for me at West
Ham then and he used to go quiet.
"It's kind of one gets the glory and the other feels poor about it, I guess. That might be one side of it but if they both hit on the same day, we'll be laughing. Hopefully soon."
As well as contemplating keeping Cisse in the team, Newcastle are likely to recall midfielder Cheik Tiote and skipper Fabricio Coloccini to the team at Old Trafford.
Tiote - booked shortly after his introduction as a substitute - made his return to action after injury on Sunday, while Coloccini's hamstring problem has cleared up and is set to face the Red
Devils in a competition Pardew would like to win.
The Newcastle boss said: "It's great news for us having Colo available again. His influence in the dressing room is so calming. He gives us an assurance really. I think we have missed that, as well
as the two other centre halves have done."
He added: "It is also difficult to sum up in words what Tiote brings to us. It is a huge presence for the team and some of our rhythm is gained by having someone like Cheik in the side.
"He can put the opposition on the back foot. He brings a level to training that a few more players could do in my experience. A level of intensity about winning that he showed in all the wrong ways
on Sunday! But that's him. He is very important to us. There is no doubt in my mind, if he is fit, he plays in this team. "