Cisse: Magpies need to hold on to stars
Scoring sensation Papiss Cisse has urged Newcastle to hang on to all their best players as they prepare for what they hope will be an exciting new challenge.
The Magpies could secure European football for next season with a victory over Stoke on Saturday and, in the process, strengthen their claims on Champions League qualification.
But amid speculation that a series of Barclays Premier League rivals are ready to test their resolve to hang on to the likes of goalkeeper Tim Krul, midfielder Cheick Tiote and leading scorer Demba Ba, Cisse told the Northern Echo: "I would love for them to stay and play here longer because we are doing very well together."
Cisse, whose 10 goals in nine games since his January arrival from Freiburg have lit up Tyneside, admits he would be particularly disappointed to lose either Tiote or strike-partner Ba.
He added: "Yes, I would be worried if they left because they have helped me a lot.
"It may effect me because of that but, at the end of the day, that's football and if a big opportunity came along for them to move, they can.
"It's down to Newcastle, they will do the right thing. At the end of the day, I trust the club and they will do the right thing."
Newcastle, of course, famously took the controversial decision to accept Liverpool's astronomical £35million offer for Andy Carroll in January last year, and while that was hugely unpopular at the time, they have gone from strength to strength in the meantime.
Indeed, it would be a huge disappointment if the club did not now claim at least a Europa League place, and the prospect of bringing European football back to St James' Park is one Cisse is relishing.
He said: "That's my objective, Europe. I like it. I sleep with it, I wake up with it every morning. I know it's tight at the top of the table, but I'm trying to do my best and hopefully, we will get there."