PAPISS Demba Cisse hopes his injury problems are finally behind him after making a goalscoring return to Newcastle United’s starting XI.
Cisse scored the club’s equaliser in last night’s 1-1 draw against Burnley at Turf Moor.
George Boyd had given Sean Dyche’s side a first-half lead.
But Cisse claimed a point for Newcastle with a close-range strike early in the second half in front of almost 4,000 travelling fans in Lancashire.
The 29-year-old poked the ball past Tom Heaton after a low cross from Daryl Janmaat was flicked on at the near post by Yoan Gouffran.
“It was very, very important for me and the team,” said Cisse. “I need to score goals – that’s my job.
“The team have one point. We wanted three points, but it’s not easy to get three points here.
“I’m happy, and the team are happy as well. This game wasn’t an easy game.
“It was very, very difficult in the first half. The team did well in the second half to come back into the game.”
Cisse suffered a broken kneecap late last season, and he returned in late September.
The Senegal international – who will be away with his country next month for the African Cup of Nations – has been hampered by a minor knee problem over the past two months.
However, Newcastle boss Alan Pardew felt he was ready to return to the starting XI at Turf Moor, having recently named him on the bench.
“My injury is not easy,” said Cisse. “I need to look after myself, and the doctor (Paul Catterson) does a very good job for me.
“I’m happy to come back in the team, play 90 minutes and score a goal.”
Cisse felt the two changes made by Pardew at the break changed the game. Pardew replaced Ayoze Perez and Mike Williamson with Remy Cabella and Steven Taylor.
“The gaffer did his job and made two changes,” said Cisse. “He put Remy in and he changed the game.”
Pardew admitted he is now considering starting Cabella against Premier League leaders Chelsea at St James’s Park on Saturday.
“Cabella gave us some technical ability and produced a really great second half for us,” said Pardew.
“That’s really good news. We’ve been waiting for him to come alive. He’s been a slow burner, but he changed the game.”