ALAN Pardew has insisted he won’t be afraid to sacrifice Papiss Demba Cisse – if the striker can’t hit form alongside leading scorer Demba Ba.
Cisse was a revelation in the latter months of last term after his January move to Newcastle United.
But the 27-year-old – who hopes to face Queens Park Rangers at St James’s Park tomorrow – has struggled for form so far this season.
Ba has been among the goals, with his strike in last weekend’s defeat to Manchester City his 11th of the campaign.
Some fans have questioned whether Cisse – who was scored two Premier League goals – can play together.
And Pardew – who has played Ba as a lone striker in recent games, with Cisse, pictured, withdrawn to the right side of midfield – hasn’t ruled out a change for the QPR game and the Boxing Day visit to Manchester United.
“It’s natural for pressure to be applied when you have one striker scoring and one not scoring,” Pardew told SportMail.
“We’re having to work our way through it – that’s what we’ll try to do.
“Sometimes with players you need to show loyalty, and sometimes you need to show faith. I’ll always do that with my strikers.
“But there does come a point when I have to say ‘OK, let’s try something new’.
“Shola (Ameobi) is knocking on the door at the minute.
“He wants to have a go, and that’s something I’ll need to look closely at over the next couple of games.”
Meanwhile, Ba won’t face any disciplinary action over an interview he gave to a French TV station.
It was subsequently translated into English, and Ba was quoted talking about Arsenal’s reported interest in him.
Pardew had a meeting with Ba – who is available for £7.5m in next month’s transfer window because of a release clause in his contract – this week at the club’s training ground.
“I think the most important thing with Demba is that he’s a goalscorer, and he’s scoring goals,” said Pardew.
“I’ve had to (speak to Demba). The quotes in England weren’t correct. They were unfair on Demba, and unfair on us.
“There’ll be no disciplinary procedure against him.
“The most important thing in that conversation was about turning the situation around.
“I’ve got no problem with anything he said in that interview.”
Pardew, however, could not offer Newcastle fans any assurances that Ba will still be at the club in February given his complex contractual situation.
“Unfortunately, the contract he has leaves it open, and I have to answer these questions,” he added.
“I think he’d be disappointed to leave in this window. But the decision will ultimately be his.”