Both Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran ran out of steam a bit in the second half at Villa Park on Tuesday night, and manager Alan Pardew is hoping those two key players for Newcastle will be able to last longer through the second half against reigning European Champions Chelsea tomorrow afternoon at St. James’ Park.
Moussa Sissoko in action at Villa Park
Apparently they both got attacks of cramp in the second half – so maybe some salt tablets before the Chelsea game will help with that.
This is what Alan Pardew said today about his new twosome:
“I’m hoping some of the cramp that Moussa and Yoan sustained was probably because it was their debuts.” “The French had an off-season period so we’re going to be concerned about those two for Chelsea, but we do get an extra day’s rest and I do think that is significant.”
“It evens it up, so that is a factor in the game.” “Sometimes the first game you can get by with the adrenaline and everything but the second game can be a bit more difficult.” “We’ll focus on those guys for the second game – their level must stay the same.”
Both Sissoko and Gouffran played well at Aston Villa, with Moussa simply a powerhouse in the middle of the park for Newcastle, and Yoan showing great movement and skill up front – and mainly playing to the left of Papiss Cisse – who looked in good form and scored a great opportunist goal to put Newcastle ahead in the game, after he was brilliantly put through by Sissoko.
Pardew also said that Newcastle knocked back a few enquiries about some of Newcastle top players yesterday, on the final day of the transfer window:
“I was involved in it two years ago when big Andy left.” “This year we’ve done our work early and got in the players we think we needed but definitely no-one was going out.”
If we can get some decent results in our final 14 games of the season and keep all our top players in the summer, we should have the best squad we’ve had in a long time come next September.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org