PAPISS Demba Cisse has been “embraced” back into the Newcastle United fold - and Alan Pardew is confident he’ll soon be back to his best.
The striker made his seasonal debut against St Mirren last night after agreeing to wear a Wonga-branded jersey and struck a stunning opening goal at St Mirren Park.
The 28-year-old exchanged passes with Sammy Ameobi on the left wing midway thorugh the first half before beating David Cornell with a curling right-footed effort.
Defender Mathieu Debuchy added a second goal in the 27th minute.
Cisse missed a large part of the club’s pre-season campaign because of the Wonga dispute.
But he’s now up and running after a resolution was found with the club, and Pardew’s looking for him to rediscover the blistering form he showed after his arrival on Tyneside in January last year.
“All strikers need to score goals - it gives them that added confidence,” Pardew told SportMail.
“It was a fabulous goal, and I was very pleased with it.
“He was under a lot of pressure. We love him, and we embraced him. He worked so hard. That was a reflection of it all, because you don’t score a goal like that without working hard.
“Fair play to him, because he hasn’t been around the group this pre-season.”
Newcastle played their best football yet of pre-season in the first 45 minutes.
Dan Gosling and Sammy Ameobi caught the eye, and Pardew was pleased with the movement of his side, especially in the final third of the pitch.
“They put us under a lot of pressure, and we had to play very, very well to play under that pressure,” he said.
“We scored two fabulous goals. Without being derogatory to St Mirren, it could have been three or four by half-time.
“We were terrific. At the start of the second half we were too.
“We had some great performances. (Paul) Dummett and Sammy have put themselves in a position to challenge.
“They’ve come out of the pack. Now they have to see it through to Man City.
“Mapou (Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa) and Colo (Fabricio Coloccini) were very solid for us.”