MOUSSA Sissoko’s been backed to give a captain’s performance against Tottenham Hotspur tonight.
The midfielder will again skipper Newcastle United in the absence through injury of Fabricio Coloccini and Cheik Tiote.
Sissoko led Alan Pardew’s side against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend.
United manager Pardew handed Sissoko the captain’s armband ahead of obvious contenders Mike Williamson and Steven Taylor as he felt the honour would “inspire” the energetic 24-year-old.
“I thought Moussa deserved it for his always committed performances,” Pardew said.
“I want to give it to someone who I think it inspires them, like it did Cheik.
“I do think Moussa’s an important player for us going forward, and I wanted to give him the stamp of approval from me.”
With Newcastle struggling in front of goal – the team hasn’t scored in 270 minutes – Pardew is looking to Sissoko to make more of a contribution from midfield.
Sissoko has scored four goals for United since his move from Toulouse 13 months ago.
Two of those strikes came in a memorable home win over Chelsea last season.
And France international had a golden opportunity to equalise at Stamford Bridge after makeshift defensive midfielder Davide Santon set him away with a defence-splitting pass.
But the advancing Petr Cech blocked Sissoko’s effort, and Jose Mourinho’s side went on to score a minute later to take full control of the Premier League match, which Newcastle lost 3-0. Pardew said: “Chelsea, being a team he likes to score against, I expected Moussa to score!”
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