Both Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse should be arriving back in Newcastle today after Senegal were eliminated from the African Cup of Nations.
Alan Pardew – we need to do better at Blackburn
But both players will find that Newcastle only have Premier League games left to play this season, after sadly being eliminated 1-0 from the FA Cup at Brighton on Saturday.
But Newcastle would have been at Liverpool in round five, so it would not have been a kind draw for the Newcastle club, if we had made it through.
Alan Pardew has refused to criticise his players for any lack of effort on Saturday, but he does admit Newcastle will need to do better on Wednesday night at Ewood Park, when Newcastle take on 3rd bottom of the table Blackburn Rovers.
This is what Alan said today:
“We have to correct what is wrong and yet it is hard to criticise my players because we had a good grip of the game and our balance and commitment was right.”
“On Wednesday at Blackburn though, we need to do better. We knew this period would be difficult without big players at the African Nations.”
“I have no idea whether Ba and Cissé will be back for Wednesday but I hope so.” “It will strengthen the team, whether it is from the bench or starting positions.”
“And I am looking forward to seeing them back for sure. We have a big week this week. We have a big game at Blackburn, we need to take something against Aston Villa.”
“And then hopefully we can start looking upwards again.” “We have lost the core of this team.” “We knew they would all be coming back for the next round, so to lose in this game makes it all the more galling.”
“We did not create enough chances, enough opportunities, to win the game.”
Demba Ba and Pappiss Cisse have both returned in the shortest time possible after only being at the African Cup of Nations for the group stage.
But the Ivory Coast and Cheick Tiote sit at the top of their group with two wins from their two games, and they play their last group game tonight against Angola in Malabo, who are second top of Group B on 4 points.
So Cheick will not be coming home for a while yet.
But there’s no doubt that if the two Senegal strikers can play on Wednesday evening, then Newcastle will be a much stronger side, because since Demba Ba has been away, we have lacked a goal threat up front.
There’s nothing like goals to raise the spirits during a game, and it’s something that Newcastle just couldn’t get at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.
But Wednesday is another game, and it’s certain that all 3 points for Newcastle will significantly raise the spirits of Newcastle supporters everywhere.
Howay The Lads!!