Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has warned man-of-the-moment Papiss Cisse life in the Premier League may not always be as easy as he is making it look.
The 26-year-old Senegal international took his tally for his new club to 13 goals in 12 games with a sensational double in Wednesday’s 2-0 win at Chelsea which propelled the Magpies back into the thick of the race for Champions League qualification. In the process, he set up a potentially thrilling clash with title hopefuls Manchester City on Tyneside tomorrow with Newcastle eyeing a top-four finish and a European adventure.
However, Pardew, who has worked with a series of top strikers including City’s Carlos Tevez during their time together at West Ham, knows there are likely to be tougher times ahead.
“It’s early days — this is only half a season. His confidence is very, very high — at some point, it will be low, and that’s when maybe me and my staff need to kick in,” he said. “At the moment, we are just running along with him.”
Cisse, a near-£10million (€12m) signing from German club Freiburg in January, announced himself in style with a winner on his debut against Aston Villa, and has not looked back since. Some of his strikes have been breathtaking, but his second at Stamford Bridge, an outrageous volley from an unpromising position, is a genuine contender for goal of the season.
Asked if the frontman’s form was a reward for the homework the club had done before making their decisive move for him, Pardew said: “You have to say that that’s true, but we also have a great work ethic at the training ground, which I think is easy to buy into.
“We also have a great spirit and of course Demba [Ba], who has had to suffer, really, after Papiss’ arrival in terms of working for the team, has helped him settle in and made it a lot easier for Papiss.
“But at the end of the day, he has still got to play brilliant football and score goals. His confidence is very, very high, as he showed against Chelsea.”
Full-back Danny Simpson may miss out against with an ankle problem, but midfielder Cheick Tiote, who had seven stitches in a head wound at Chelsea, will not. Pardew said: “Danny Simpson is doubtful for the game. Cheick Tiote is not doubtful at all.”
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