Boy from Senegal can be better than Ba, says Pardew

AFTER watching Papiss Cisse light up St James' Park with an unforgettable debut, Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew believes his new striker can be even better than Demba Ba.

It was a dream start to Cisse's Newcastle career with the 26-year-old scoring the winner as the Magpies climbed back up to fifth in the Premier League with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa.

Demba Ba also returned to action having been away on international duty with Cisse at the African Cup of Nations and it was his goal that gave Pardew's men a 30th minute lead.

Since he arrived at the club in the summer, Ba has been a revelation for Pardew scoring 16 goals in 20 games.

Having come from the German Bundesliga, Cisse has a similar pedigree to his fellow countryman and Pardew believes his £9m number nine has the potential to emulate Ba's success at Newcastle.

Cisse was handed the iconic number nine shirt when he arrived from Freiburg and Pardew admits the striker couldn't have had a better start to life on Tyneside.

"He's got a better record than Demba in the Bundesliga. He's a good age, he's not a novice player, he's been homed and the chances are that he could be better than Demba," said Pardew.

"He's the right age for the number nine jersey. This is a good player we've got and I thought he showed that.

"Even with his first movements, I think his first touch was a turn, he looked a threat, but his goal was something special and it lifted the roof off the place. It really was a great hit and it wasn't too bad for his weak foot!

"I think if you're going to wear that jersey at Newcastle you need a good start and he's had that, it's a boy's dream, but his all-round performance, I think any Newcastle fan would have been nudging their mates saying, 'we've got a good one here.'

"I've been lucky with strikers on debuts and that's struck again. I'm really pleased, because it's a big investment for the club. Mike sanctioned it and it's fans money I'm spending so I like to spend it well. We've worked hard to get him and we've been rewarded straight away.

"When you score a goal like that it always helps. After the game he came in and shook everyone's hands. He's a genuine guy, he just wants to do well for Newcastle. He hasn't come here with any other agenda than to be a top player.

"He's had a great start. I didn't want to bring him on that early. Demba and Papiss have been travelling around and then had a long flight back. I didn't think they would be fresh enough to put the performances in they have done."

Pardew was equally pleased to see his top scorer return to action with a goal, but the Magpies boss has warned supporters that despite yesterday's events, Ba and Cisse still need time to gel.

He said: "I think people have this miss conception that they already have this partnership, but they haven't, they've hardly played together.

"They're going to compliment each other well, because Papiss wants to go in behind and Demba wants to come short, so you've got a nice balance there.

"I thought Demba looked a bit sluggish up until the goal. The Premier League is fast and he's in a position where he has to be sharper than anybody, but he was better after he scored.

"He played a bit further up the pitch and he started to be more of a threat like he is. Apart from Leon, who's taken a knock it's was a good day for our strikers."

Yesterday's win did come at some cost for Pardew, however, when both Ryan Taylor and Leon Best were forced off with ankle and knee injuries respectively.

With Pardew already missing key men Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote, the Magpies boss had special praise for Danny Guthrie, who put in another impressive shift in central midfield.

"We're missing some key players, especially in the central midfield area," Pardew said.

"Danny Guthrie has had a real weight on his shoulder to be a creative force and he came out of that with flying colours in my opinion.

"Missing the likes of Yohan and Cheik, you'd think it would damage us against a Villa team that were good today.

"They were really sharp and caused us problems. They deserved to be level. We didn't react for their goal, but second half we were a bit more controlled and built pressure."

"He's the right age for the number nine jersey. This is a good player we've got and I thought he showed that.

"Even with his first movements, I think his first touch was a turn, he looked a threat, but his goal was something special and it lifted the roof off the place. It really was a great hit and it wasn't too bad for his weak foot!

"I think if you're going to wear that jersey at Newcastle you need a good start and he's had that, it's a boy's dream, but his all-round performance, I think any Newcastle fan would have been nudging their mates saying, 'we've got a good one here.'

"I've been lucky with strikers on debuts and that's struck again. I'm really pleased, because it's a big investment for the club. Mike sanctioned it and it's fans money I'm spending so I like to spend it well. We've worked hard to get him and we've been rewarded straight away.

"When you score a goal like that it always helps. After the game he came in and shook everyone's hands. He's a genuine guy, he just wants to do well for Newcastle. He hasn't come here with any other agenda than to be a top player.

"He's had a great start. I didn't want to bring him on that early. Demba and Papiss have been travelling around and then had a long flight back. I didn't think they would be fresh enough to put the performances in they have done."

Pardew was equally pleased to see his top scorer return to action with a goal, but the Magpies boss has warned that despite yesterday's events, Ba and Cisse still need time to gel.

He said: "I think people have this miss conception that they already have this partnership, but they haven't, they've hardly played together.

"They're going to compliment each other well, because Papiss wants to go in behind and Demba wants to come short, so you've got a nice balance there.

"I thought Demba looked a bit sluggish up until the goal. The Premier League is fast and he's in a position where he has to be sharper than anybody, but he was better after he scored.

"He played a bit further up the pitch and he started to be more of a threat like he is. Apart from Leon, who's taken a knock it's was a good day for our strikers."

Yesterday's win did come at some cost for Pardew, however, when both Ryan Taylor and Leon Best were forced off with ankle and knee injuries respectively.

With Pardew already missing key men Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote, the Magpies boss had special praise for Danny Guthrie, who put in another impressive shift in central midfield.

"We're missing some key players, especially in the central midfield area," Pardew said.

"Danny Guthrie has had a real weight on his shoulder to be a creative force and he came out of that with flying colours in my opinion.

"Missing the likes of Yohan and Cheik, you'd think it would damage us against a Villa team that were good today.

"They were really sharp and caused us problems. They deserved to be level. We didn't react for their goal, but second half we were a bit more controlled and built pressure."

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