Cisse has a central role in Pardew’s plans

Dated: 02/01/2013'Goal.. Newcastle's Papiss Cisse celebrates in front of the Toon Army fans after scoring Uniteds opener against Everton in the match at St James Park.' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES
Dated: 02/01/2013'Goal.. Newcastle's Papiss Cisse celebrates in front of the Toon Army fans after scoring Uniteds opener against Everton in the match at St James Park.' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES
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NATURAL born goalscorer Papiss Demba Cisse will again lead Newcastle United’s attack after the departure of Demba Ba.

The striker wreaked havoc in the second half of last season after his move from Freiburg.

But Cisse has predominantly been played on the right side this season by United manager Alan Pardew, with Chelsea-bound Ba having been the focal point of the team’s attacking play.

However, Cisse – who scored his sixth goal of the season in last night’s 2-1 home defeat to Everton – will be back up top against Norwich City on January 12.

“I think we all know that Papiss is a natural goalscorer,” Pardew told SportMail.

“He’s had to play on the side, but he will play through the middle for us – there’s no doubt about that.

“We now need to make sure we’re strong enough in midfield, and get the distribution to him.”

“We had some key moments of the game that went against us - it was a soft free-kick for their goal.

“It took the wind out of or sails just before half-time.

“In the second half we huffed and puffed a little bit - we certainly put in a shift - but I can’t fault the workrate.

“But we need quality and experience. Probably, that edged it for Everton - they had that on the pitch.”

Newcastle face Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup on Saturday. With Premier League survival the over-riding priority, Pardew is likely to make changes for the third-round tie.

“We’ll have to see where we are,” he said. “We’ve got two days recovery after Man United, Arsenal and Everton – three great teams. You have to say that.

“Everton are a great side. They have quality off the bench.

“Sammy (Ameobi) and Bigi (Gael Bigirimana) did well, but at the end of the day that little bit of experience was the difference.”