Belfast Telegraph

Super-sub Cisse eyes starting berth

Newcastle match-winner Papiss Cisse knows his heroics against Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea will not necessarily guarantee him a place in Alan Pardew's starting line-up.

Cisse, who scored the Magpies' equaliser at Burnley in midweek, came off the bench to fire them to a 2-1 victory over the previously unbeaten Blues with a second-half double at St James' Park on Saturday.

Having started the game at Turf Moor, the Senegal international found himself back among the substitutes as he continues his recovery from surgery to repair his fractured kneecap with Pardew carefully managing him.

Cisse understandably wants to play every game, but he is not going to fall out with his boss as he attempts to force his way back into the XI for next weekend's trip to Arsenal.

He said: "I feel fit. I'm good. I just need to keep going in the gym all the time. I can't stop doing that because otherwise it will not help with my comeback.

"I try to go all the time, but I am feeling very, very good. The injury is not difficult to manage, I just need to do my gym work and I do it all the time. I am okay.

"The gaffer just made the decision to put me on the bench. I don't know why, but I'm okay. I'm confident I will fully recover.

"I'm not young now, I'm 29. I'm not angry, I just wait for my time and even if it's just five minutes, I will try to do well for those five minutes.

"I will wait to see if I play against Arsenal. I'll work hard in training this week and see if the gaffer will play me."

Whatever happens at the Emirates Stadium, Cisse fulfilled the role of super-sub to the letter on Tyneside on Saturday as Newcastle weathered a battering at times before putting Jose Mourinho's men to the sword in an enthralling second half.

He had only been on the pitch for four minutes when his first opening arrived as defender Gary Cahill failed to cut out Sammy Ameobi's 57th-minute cross to provide him with a simple finish.

The home side looked to have sealed the win 12 minutes from time when, seconds after Eden Hazard's shot had come back off the post with substitute keeper Jak Alnwick beaten, Moussa Sissoko powered his way deep into enemy territory before sliding the ball into Cisse's path, and he nervelessly steered home a second.

There was, however, to be a late twist sparked by the 81st-minute exit of defender Steven Taylor following a second yellow card as substitute Didier Drogba headed home the resulting Cesc Fabregas free-kick to give the visitors hope.

However, despite their numerical disadvantage, Pardew's men held out for seven minutes of normal time and an agonising further six of added time to claim their third successive home league victory over Chelsea.

Cisse said: "I'm happy. It's been a good week, especially because it's been against Chelsea. If you come on in the second half and score two goals, you need to be happy.

"I say thank you to my team as well. It was a very important win for the team - nobody had won against Chelsea yet, but today Newcastle did it. It was not an easy game, so this gives us lots of confidence going forward.

"I'm very very happy. I say it all the time, but I am just doing my job. All the players are happy, the gaffer as well. The team is just happy because if all the fans are happy, the team is happy, so we are all just happy."

Victory, however, came at a cost with Rob Elliot, who was deputising for the injured Tim Krul, having aggravated a thigh problem which could sideline him for several weeks, skipper Fabricio Coloccini also struggling and Sissoko facing a one-match ban alongside Taylor after collecting a fifth booking of the season.


From Belfast Telegraph