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Papiss Cisse is carrying flag for Newcastle United

By Administrator Newcastle on Jan 12, 13 10:07 AM

by Lee Ryder, Evening Chronicle

ALAN PARDEW has backed his No 9 Papiss Cisse to "carry the flag" for Newcastle United in their bid to avoid relegation.

The Senegal striker was restored to his central role today for the Premier League clash with Norwich City - a position he will retain until the end of the season.

Pardew, still actively pursuing Marseille star Loic Remy, said goalscoring responsibility will also be placed on the shoulders of Shola Ameobi and troubled reserve-team striker
Nile Ranger in the coming months.

However, Cisse - who has six goals to his name this term - will be the man asked to fill the void created by Demba Ba's exit.

Pardew told the Chronicle: "In the short term, he has to carry the flag. I've no doubt he will.

"He's a poacher, a natural goal-scorer.

"He's done particularly well in the wide area for us when we've been weak in midfield. I think we're getting stronger in there, and with Demba going as well, he'll go through the middle.

"His hold-up play has improved, and hopefully he'll bring that to the No 9 role, because that's been his weakness.

"Going in behind, sniffing a goal out - that will never change."

Pardew also has teenager Adam Campbell at his disposal too, but the flame-haired Wallsend star will be given his fair share of time in the development pool before being asked to be a regular on United's bench.

With the Magpies engulfed in a relegation battle it is hardly the right time to throw Campbell in at the deep end.

And Pardew says he will lean heavily on Ameobi and Ranger in the next few weeks.

He said: "That's the case. We've got Shola and Papiss, and I include Nile in that conversation."

But with Pardew linked with Remy and St Etienne star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyeng, he admitted he was desperate to add another goal-scorer to his pool.

The former West Ham United manager said: "Outside of that we really need another one, for sure, to make sure we've got enough goal-scorers in the group."

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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