PAPISS Demba Cisse can bring much more than just goals to Newcastle.
That’s the verdict of manager Alan Pardew ahead of Cisse’s return to the Liberty Stadium.
Cisse netted two stunning strikes in last season’s 2-0 win over Swansea City.
And the striker goes into Saturday’s game against the Capital One Cup winners buoyed by his 30-yard wonder strike in last weekend’s 4-2 victory over Southampton.
Up to now, Cisse, a revelation in the second half of last season after his move from Freiburg, has found goals hard to come by.
And Pardew’s hoping the Senegal international has hit form at the right time – with an improving Newcastle looking to push up into the top half of the table AND progress to the quarter finals of the Europa League.
However, Pardew isn’t only judging Cisse on his goal return, and he was heartened by his work-rate and movement against Southampton.
“His work-rate and commitment – trying to get in behind them and stretch them – was first class,” Pardew said.
The Southampton goal brought back memories of an Alan Shearer strike at St James’s Park against Everton.
“He gets all types of goals – a bit like the legend that hangs over this place, Alan Shearer,” added Pardew. “
“That was a Shearer moment. It almost reminded me of that goal of the season he got here. What a great hit – it was brilliant for Cisse.”
The Southampton win followed United’s two-legged Europa League victory over Metalist Kharkiv.
And Newcastle aren’t short of confidence ahead of the game against Swansea, who won the Capital One Cup last weekend and are themselves on a high.
“Everybody’s on a real high – that was as good a performance as we’ve had all year,” said Pardew, whose side are now six points clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone.