Newcastle stars have to help Cisse find goal touch

STARVED OF SERVICE ... Papiss Demba Cisse has yet to score a league goal this season.
STARVED OF SERVICE ... Papiss Demba Cisse has yet to score a league goal this season.

ALAN Pardew’s called on his team to help Papiss Demba Cisse off the mark in the Premier League – at the best place possible.

Cisse’s two goals for Newcastle United this season have come in cup competitions.

The striker – who could again partner Demba Ba up front against Sunderland tomorrow – was a revelation in the second half of last season, but he’s struggled to find form in the league this term.

Pardew believes Cisse’s lack of goals is down to a lack of service.

And the challenge for his midfield is give the 27-year-old the ball in the kind of areas from which he wreaked havoc in the first few months of his Newcastle career.

“He’s a striker we know – and we see it in training every day – who will finish,” Pardew told the Gazette.

“But we have to create chances in games, and we’re not doing that. We’re not creating enough chances for him or Demba.

“Demba’s done well to get the goal tally he has, because we’ve not created enough chances for him. I have sympathy with Papiss, Demba and Shola (Ameobi).”

Yohan Cabaye was United’s creative force last season along with Hatem Ben Arfa.

While Ben Arfa hit form early in the campaign, Cabaye is yet to come to the fore in the way he did last term.

But Pardew isn’t concerned by Cabaye’s slow start to the campaign, which the player himself blamed on fatigue from his involvement in France’s Euro 2012 campaign.

“I’ve no worries about Cabaye – he’s a great player,” said Pardew.

“Great players will come to the fore, and sometimes when you least expect it.

“He doesn’t shirk from the responsibility of winning tackles, and doing the ugly side of the game.”

The timely return from injury of Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor and Tim Krul means Pardew will name his strongest team of the season against Martin O’Neill’s side.

He said: “We’ve had a fragmented season with injury, let’s be honest.

“This is the first time, really, that I can think of that all my big players are available.

“Now I’ve just got to make sure I pick the team that’s hopefully good enough to beat Sunderland.”