thumbnail Hello,

Boss believes talented Frenchman needs to add energy to his flair whilst the player himself is targeting a regular place in the side

Hatem Ben Arfa has been told by manager Alan Pardew that he must improve his work rate if he is to become a Newcastle United legend.

The Frenchman celebrated a rare start by scoring a sensational goal in the Toon's 2-1 FA Cup win over Blackburn Rovers last weekend. The goal illustrated everything good about Ben Arfa as he jinked in and out of several challenges before crashing home an unstoppable strike beyond Mark Bunn.

While Newcastle have hardly missed the 24-year-old this season as Yohan Cabaye and Cheikh Tiote have impressed in the central midfield berths, Tiote is now away on African Nations duty meaning Ben Arfa now has the chance to shine in the Ivorian's absence.

Pardew believes Ben Arfa has what it takes to succeed if he combines his silky skills with maximum effort on the pitch.

"The boy we know has talent. You only have to see him with the ball. But Hatem has to understand this club and I'm going to require more energy from him," said Pardew in his press conference yesterday.

"In our team, with the team-mates he's got, he's going to need to put in more work-rate and more effort."

The Newcastle boss also admits that it has taken the former Marseille man a while to acclimatise to English football and to recover from the broken leg he suffered last year.

"His kind of flair player needs to understand what the Premier League is about," he added.

"He's been injured for almost a year and he's not had a lot of experience of the Premier League. Players need a period of adjustment."

Ben Arfa, meanwhile, is perfectly aware of the competition at the club but believes it is now his chance to shine.

He said: "It's important to play consecutive games and that's what I want. I have to perform every week to keep my place."

How do you stay up to date with football when on the move? With – your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.