ALAN Pardew has predicted that Papiss Cissé will explode into life and rediscover his goalscoring touch in the second half of this season.
Newcastle United’s match against Manchester United today at Old Trafford marks the halfway stage of this Premier League campaign, which so far has witnessed just two league goals from Cissé.
The Senegalese may drop down to the bench for today’s game, with Shola Ameobi an obvious replacement given his superbly taken winner against QPR.
But even if that happens, Pardew’s confidence in Cissé has not wavered one bit, despite the No 9 struggling for form and goals.
Pardew said: “Papiss is a victim of our injury problems. Without Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye, we have lacked quality in the last third and have not created a lot of moments for him to score. Hopefully we can create more moments for him and he will start scoring goals soon.
“I can confidently predict Papiss will score more goals in the second half of the season.
“In some respects, playing right has helped his game and his ball retention. He needed to improve on that as a striker. I thought, even last year when he was scoring goals, that was a weakness in his game.
“He has improved that. It has taken the pressure off him to score goals that has helped a little bit. He’s still had chances.
“We do have four games in ten days, so there is an opportunity for him to play at some stage and I would like to think he will improve as a player by playing out on the side.”
Cissé is a striker who thrives on service, and this is why Pardew pointed to the absence of some of his best players as a reason as to why last season’s scoring sensation has hit a barren patch in front of goal.
Pardew said: “I called him a victim because of a lack of creativity in the team.
“We do lack a bit of creative flair for the strikers and although we are putting in plenty of crosses, and the bulk of goals will come from crosses at any level, you still need that quality moment.