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'He had his best game for us' - Pardew hails Cisse after Norwich win

The Magpies boss applauded the Senegalese striker for his work ethic but admitted that he only took one of three great first-half chances

Alan Pardew hailed Papiss Cisse after the Senegalese striker kept his club on course for Europa League qualification with the only goal in Newcastle United's 1-0 win over Norwich City.

The forward's third strike since a £7-million switch from German outfit Freiburg last January strengthened the Magpies' grip on sixth place in the Premier League as they saw off the Canaries.

And Newcastle boss Pardew had high praise for his No.9 and club and international partner Demba Ba.

“I thought that he had his best game for us today not just in the fact that he threatened the goal but also because his link-up play and his work-rate was right up there with the best in this division,” he told reporters.

“I am really pleased that he got the goal and perhaps he should have had two. In training he bangs three or four goals in in quick succession and it surprised me that he missed them actually.

“Papiss and Demba were a little bit closer together today and that worked better for us. If you are going to play two out-and-out strikers like they are you have to ask them to work and they really put in a shift because that extra midfield player Norwich had really started to get a grip at times.

"Being able to contain it and deal with it when you have got two goal-scorers on the pitch might have been the difference today.”

Newcastle won despite being without midfield lynchpin Cheick Tiote due to hamstring trouble and Pardew believes the resilience shown by his players bodes well for the future.

“We had eight senior players today and we have four or five out for the season so we have been unlucky with injuries and I ask players to play in different positions and Yohan Cabaye has had to play in five different positions today,” he continued.

“Everyone is pulling to get us this finish we need. That is how important a win is in the Premiership. It is the last ten games and so it makes the task do-able whereas perhaps if we had lost today winning five out of the last nine would not have been do-able because we are not firing on all cylinders.

“We are not balanced and we are not at our best and if you can win when you are not at your best it is a great ingredient to have. Norwich played with an assurance.

"It is easy to look at someone like them and not give them the respect they are due. We did. We knew it would be tough and my players are absolutely elated to have beaten them.

"[Club owner] Mike Ashley said to me after the Sunderland game that was fantastic theatre and he thoroughly enjoyed it. There wasn’t much theatre today but there was a real professionalism on the pitch.

“If I had come here as a coach or a manager watching the game you would have to say both teams put in a full stint that in a way stopped the other playing a bit.

“The flair players could have maybe offered a bit more ‘je ne sais quoi’ today but my goodness it was a real battle and it is always nice to win a battle.