Pardew delighted by Ba response

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew praised striker Demba Ba for turning his anger into goals to kick-start the club's Barclays Premier League campaign.

Football News: Demba Ba Alan Pardew Newcastle

Ba's double at Everton on Monday night - after he was initially left smouldering on the bench - secured an unlikely point, and his strike at St James' Park saw off Norwich 1-0 and added three more to the Magpies' total.

The Senegal international made his feelings abundantly clear after his heroics at Goodison Park, and agent Alex Gontran added fuel to the fire the following day by suggesting the player would have to consider his options if he was dropped from the starting XI again.

However, having received an apology from Ba and, Pardew revealed, an olive branch from his representative, peace appears to have broken out once again, although the £7.5million release-clause in his current contract remains in place.

The manager said: "There has just been so much nonsense written about it. His agent sent me an e-mail saying he was misquoted, and I actually believe him.

"I am not usually one to believe agents that much, but I do believe him on this occasion, and I also think Demba's anger has been generated in the right way - to improve for Newcastle United.

"There is no way that Demba can play every game this season. He is going to miss some other games - so will Shola [Ameobi] and so will Papiss [Cisse].

"The best thing we can do is try to play the best players we have and get a win, and Demba led from start to finish today [Sunday] - not just his goal - in the dressing room, everything about him was top drawer."

Ba's 19th-minute strike, his fourth of the season, ultimately secured just Newcastle's second league victory of the campaign, although a series of other chances went begging.

Cisse, who has now not scored for the club since his wonder-strike at Chelsea on May 2 - a run of eight games - was out of sorts in front of goal once again, but passed up a glorious opportunity to end his personal drought.

The Magpies were awarded penalty in first-half stoppage time for Steve Morison's foul on Mike Williamson and Hatem Ben Arfa, who scored from the spot against Tottenham on the opening day of the season, grabbed the ball.

But he was persuaded to hand it over to Cisse, who promptly skied the ball over the bar from 12 yards - much to the displeasure of assistant manager John Carver on the sidelines.

However, Pardew, who once again watched the game from the stands as he completed his two-match touchline ban, was slightly more understanding over what might have been a costly error.

He said: "I can understand why they did that. They want Papiss to score.

"Players look after players. You would be surprised - it's not as cut-throat as maybe the media sometimes put out. They genuinely wanted him to score the goal and I could see that."

Norwich, who had earlier gone close through Wes Hoolahan and Robert Snodgrass, might have been level had Steve Harper not made a vital 47th-minute block from Andrew Surman, and Newcastle were unable to kill the game off to ensure themselves of a tense finish.

For Canaries boss Chris Hughton, who was given a warm welcome back to Tyneside by Newcastle fans grateful for the job he did there in the wake of relegation from the top flight, there were positives despite the ongoing wait for a first league win of the season.

He said: "It was always one that I was looking forward to. The reception was excellent and I was absolutely delighted with that.

"What I wanted it to be was an even better day, and an even better day would have been for us to get a result that I think, on the balance of play as the away team, we probably deserved."



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