ALAN Pardew feels Newcastle United striker Papiss Demba Cisse just can’t get a break up front.
The striker had a glorious chance to put the club ahead early in extra time against Manchester City in last night’s Capital One Cup tie.
Hatem Ben Arfa played Cisse in with a superb lofted pass forward, but his effort was blocked by Costel Pantilimon, starting in goal ahead of England goalkeeper Joe Hart.
And City went on to win 2-0 thanks to goals from Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko.
Cisse’s only goal this season had come against Leeds United in the previous round of the competition.
And Pardew is at a loss to explain the 28-year-old’s predicament in front of goal.
Cisse couldn’t stop scoring after his arrival from Freiburg in January last year, but he struggled for form last season and has been unconvincing so far this term.
“It’s a shame,” Pardew told SportMail. “He’s an honest guy. He’s trying everything.
“He’s committed for Newcastle. It just won’t go in for him at the minute.”
On Cisse’s extra-time chance, Pardew added: “It did affect Papiss. Like any striker, they need confidence. That gets their feathers up, and they play with more exuberance.”
Pardew – who made five changes to his starting XI – was heartened by his team’s reaction to Sunday’s Wear-Tyne derby defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Midfielder Moussa Sissoko – who started the game in an unfamiliar role on the right side of midfield – won praise from Pardew.
Sissoko had been substituted at the break at the Stadium of Light after an anonymous performance.
“I thought the players who came in played well,” he said. “Moussa also had a good game, and I felt that was important.
“He got substituted in the last two games. We went down to 10 men against Liverpool, and he got substituted again against Sunderland.
“I think it was important that Moussa played well.”