Belfast Telegraph

Cool Cisse felt no pressure

Newcastle new boy Papiss Cisse insisted he felt no pressure when he was thrown straight into the heat of Barclays Premier League battle.

The 26-year-old arrived on Tyneside in a near £10million switch from German side Freiburg last month, but had to wait until Sunday's clash with Aston Villa to make his debut after joining club-mate Demba Ba in the Senegal squad at the African Nations Cup.

And Cisse established himself as an instant hero after coming off the bench to claim the winner with a stunning 71st-minute strike. Asked if he had felt the expectation on his shoulders, he said: "No, not really, not real pressure."

He added: "I wanted to do well, that's for sure, but I knew yesterday I was going to be on the bench, so I had time to prepare. There was not so much pressure, I was just itching to start.

"It was a dream debut, thank God, and I am really happy to be at Newcastle."

Pardew resisted the temptation to start with both Ba and Cisse, but his best-paid plans were ripped apart when Leon Best limped off with just 14 minutes gone with a medial ligament problem.

Cisse emerged from the dug-out to rapturous applause wearing the number nine shirt for the first time. However, it was Ba who broke the deadlock, somewhat against the run of play for his 16th goal of the season.

Villa enjoyed the better of the first half and eventually got their reward deep into injury time when Robbie Keane turned Charles N'Zogbia's cross past Tim Krul.

But Newcastle stepped up a gear in the second half, and when the breakthrough finally arrived, it did so in story-book style.

"I took a touch and hit it first time and when it hit the back of the net, it was a very happy moment," added Cisse.


From Belfast Telegraph