Cisse earns Pardew plaudits
Alan Pardew praised Papiss Cisse's returning killer instinct after seeing him fire Newcastle into the Europa League quarter-finals.
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9. Papiss Cisse
The Senegal international, who scored a 92nd-minute Barclays Premier League winner against Stoke on Sunday, left it two minutes longer to lead the Magpies past Anzhi Makhachkala and into the last eight.
Pardew said: "When you have got a natural goalscorer, then you need to create chances and he hasn't been blessed with a lot of chances in the last two games.
"Having said that, we had a run of games here where he had loads of chances and didn't score, and that's how sometimes it goes for a striker.
"We kept saying, 'He keeps getting into position, but not scoring'. This week, he had really and truly, I would say, two really good chances and scored them both.
"Sometimes it's difficult to weigh that up with a player. I do know one thing: his mood, like all strikers, changes with goals.
"I was actually shouting my head off at him about something else before he scored.
"He does a good shift for us as well, apart from the goals."
Cisse's dramatic intervention, his 10th goal of the campaign, was the last touch of an enthralling encounter which fluctuated throughout.
Anzhi, who had midfielder Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez sent off for a second bookable offence 10 minutes after the break, gave as good as they got throughout and created most of the game's better chances.
They were unfortunate not to take the lead with two minutes of normal time remaining when Mbark Boussoufa's free-kick rattled Rob Elliot's crossbar.
But they eventually succumbed at the death when Sylvain Marveaux crossed from the right and Cisse found time and space to head firmly past stranded keeper Vladimir Gabulov.
Pardew said: "I don't really want to wish another last-minute defeat on anybody else, but we kept pushing.
"We have got two young full-backs who went forward all night to try to create the moment, and perhaps we were rewarded for that endeavour more than anything else.
"We did the same against Stoke. You talk about the spirit of a team - it's very, very important. It's very underestimated at any level.
"The spirit of the team comes from the quality within it and the standard of character in the player. We had good characters out there tonight and good quality players."
Newcastle will go into the hat for today's draw in Nyon, along with Chelsea and Tottenham, and will hope to extend their stay in the competition further.
For Anzhi boss Guus Hiddink, there was disappointment, but also much about which to be positive.
He said: "The team played a very good game, very disciplined, very adventurous, taking the initiative.
"Even after the stupid second yellow, we managed to be organised, not to have many chances except the one on the crossbar, and then it's of course bitter when you lose in the last minute.
"But playing like this, it gives also the confidence for the future in the national league."