Pardew backs Cisse to find form
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is confident striker Papiss Cisse will return to his lethal best after another frustrating day in front of goal.
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The 27-year-old Senegal international, who scored 13 time in 14 appearances for the Magpies last season in a sensational start to his career in England, missed a penalty in the 1-0 win over Norwich and has now not registered in eight games dating back to May 2.
However, Pardew has no fears that he will rediscover his touch and start to produce the kind of breathtaking moments currently being provided by Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa.
The 51-year-old said: "He is one of those players who doesn't really carry too much baggage, if I am honest.
"I don't see an overriding problem there. I just know with Papiss that one goal, one moment will get him back into the groove.
"He's a great player, and like all great players you have got to stand by them.
"We stood by Hatem when he was not at his best and look at him now. In a kind of forgettable game, I am guessing for most people, especially neutrals, there were four or five moments from Hatem that you could put in a World Cup.
"They were really special and that's where he is at the minute, he really is playing well."
Cisse's goal rush during the second half of last season came during a barren spell for strike partner Demba Ba, and his lack of form this time around has been tempered by his compatriot's fine form.
Ba's 19th-minute strike, which ultimately secured three precious points, was his fourth of the season and did full justice to Ben Arfa's superb pass.
However, the Magpies were laboured once again and a series of chances to kill the game off went begging, most notably the one they were handed when referee Neil Swarbrick awarded a penalty for Steve Morison's challenge on Mike Williamson in first-half injury time.
Ben Arfa swiftly picked up the ball, but was persuaded to hand it to Cisse instead, and he shot wildly over to let the Canaries off the hook.
Newcastle might have paid within two minutes of the restart when Andrew Surman went one-on-one with keeper Steve Harper, but it was the 37-year-old who came out on top, and the Magpies managed to see out a nervy conclusion to seal the win.
Pardew said: "We have not put in really any sort of champagne performance anywhere along the line here but we have ground results out like we did today, and that's a good sign really because we will play well and we will bring it together."
Former Newcastle boss Chris Hughton, who was warmly applauded by the home fans, was boosted by a determined performance from his Norwich players.
He said: "If we can show that type of performance, that type of spirit, then yes, that win won't be too far away.
"But this is probably the fourth game in a row that I have had this frustration and I look very much forward to those three points because this group of players deserve it."
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