Cisse could score even more than Ba: Pardew
NEWCASTLE boss Alan Pardew believes new signing Papiss Cisse could even out-score Demba Ba during the second half of the season after opening his account on debut.
The 26-year-old Senegal international clinched three hard-earned points in a 2-1 win against Aston Villa with a superb 71st-minute volley after coming off the bench.
Ba had earlier put the home side ahead with his 16th goal in as many Premier League appearances on his return from the African Nations Cup, but Pardew is convinced his big-money January signing could run him close as the campaign reaches a conclusion.
He said: "He's got a better record than Demba in the Bundesliga. This is a guy who is at a good age -- we are not talking about a novice player here, we are talking about a player who is honed. The chances are that he could be (more prolific)."
Cisse's strike settled an entertaining encounter during which both sides enjoyed periods of dominance.
Indeed, the visitors had the upper hand when they fell behind, Ba firing home from close range on the half-hour after he reacted first to Ryan Taylor's shot across goal.
Robbie Keane ensured the Magpies did not go in at the break with a lead when he levelled from close range five minutes into added time. However, the Magpies returned in determined mood and regained their lead with 19 minutes remaining when Cisse controlled Jonas Gutierrez's cross on his chest and blasted a volley into the top corner.
James Perch and Cisse might have wrapped up victory in a frenetic finish, but Newcastle were indebted to keeper Tim Krul for fine saves from Ciaran Clark and Gary Gardner as Villa made a concerted final push.
The win eased Newcastle back into fifth place in the table, although Pardew swiftly turned his attention to next weekend's difficult trip to Tottenham. He said: "We are a big club and although a few pundits at the start of the season tipped us for relegation, I will let them decide where we are going to finish.
"For us, it's about Tottenham, and the one beauty of the result is to go to Tottenham and let our hair down. We will have a go and if we are beaten, we are beaten, but we will certainly try to go and win the game there."
Opposite number Alex McLeish said: "It's a kick in the teeth. I thought we were well worth a point, if not all three."