Newcastle’s Ba ready to strike Norwich

GOAL MISSION ... Newcastle United's Demba Ba.
GOAL MISSION ... Newcastle United's Demba Ba.

NORWICH City have been warned that Demba Ba is getting back into his stride – and ready to again hit the goals trail.

The Newcastle United striker – voted this week by Premier League managers as the signing of the season so far – hasn’t scored in four games.

Ba has not gone that long between goals since September, when he was still settling at St James’s Park after his summer move from West Ham United.

Assistant manager John Carver has seen signs that the 26-year-old is back up to speed after his spell at the African Cup of Nations, where his country, Senegal, were surprisingly eliminated at the group stage in one of the shocks of the tournament.

And Carver is confident Ba will be firing on all cylinders when he faces Norwich at St James’s Park on Sunday.

“He’s been fantastic,” Carver told SportMail.

“Unfortunately, we lost him to the African Nations, but got him back quicker than we thought.

“I thought the Arsenal game was his best performance since he’s come back.

“I actually told him that after the game. He’ll be looking forward to a home game, and hopefully getting on the scoresheet again.”

Ba has netted 16 goals for Newcastle since joining as a free transfer, but his workrate and contribution to the team has impressed Carver as much as his goals.

While Ba found chances hard to come by at the Emirates Stadium on Monday night, his work ethic was again in evidence against Arsenal, when United were agonisingly beaten by an injury-time goal from Thomas Vermaelen.

“If you’re prepared to work hard, you’ll get your rewards,” added Carver.

“So far this season, he’s done that.”

He worked extremely hard at Arsenal, but didn’t have too many opportunities.”