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'Andy Carroll needs a game-plan and Liverpool have struggled to find it' - Newcastle boss Pardew defends former Toon idol

The Magpies boss defends Carroll and puts Papiss Cisse's brace of goals down to the curried goat his players enjoyed on their training ground Africa day

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew expressed sympathy for Liverpool striker Andy Carroll after his former player had a day to forget on his return to Tyneside.

The £35 million forward was booked for diving and then turned the air blue with a string of expletives as he stormed off straight down the tunnel after being substituted in the closing stages of his team’s 2-0 defeat.

“I think Andy is a player that needs to have a game-plan that is going to work for him and I think Liverpool have struggled to find that game-plan for him with the players they have,” Pardew told reporters at his post-match press conference.

“When we had him here we were probably a little bit more direct than we are now and he was magnificent. He will be again. It is just a question of getting that balance right.

“He could have given Liverpool the lead had it not been for a shouldered clearance by Danny Simpson. Things could have been very different and that is how football is sometimes.

“It is a very fine line. I felt for Andy today.  He is a terrific lad and he is having a tough year but he will come back.”

In contrast to the former Newcastle No9, current incumbent Papiss Cisse scored his seventh goal since his £7m move from Freiburg to earn the plaudits from Pardew who put his goals down to curried goat.

“On our side of the coin, Cisse was terrific and long may that continue,” Pardew added.

“They were two great goals, fantastic finishes, and his all-round performance really was of the highest order. It was probably his best so far. He gave Jamie Carragher a tough day.

“His English isn’t great. He has only had one lesson since we have been here.

"We had Africa day at the training ground on Friday with the food and that probably helped him.

"We had some curried goat and maybe that was why he was fuelled up today. It was lovely.”

French midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa helped set up both of Cisse’s goals, and Pardew believes the attacking midfielder should be called in to his national squad ahead of Euro 2012.

“I am very pleased with Hatem,” Pardew said.

“He has been very diligent and that is why nothing would give me more pleasure than for him to make the French squad and I think he can.

“He has got an individual ability that I would be very surprised if France had that in their squad in terms of what he can do to a team.

"Even if he was to be taken as an impact player. He is in great shape.”

Pardew, however, played down his club’s prospects of qualifying for the Champions League.

The Toon are currently sitting in sixth place, level on points with Chelsea, but Pardew has insisted that he is only setting his sights on Europa League qualification.

“If someone said 'You are going to be in the Europa League' I would snap their hands off,” Pardew continued.

“We have had a season where we have been chasing and concentrating on the top ten, and we have been saying in this last ten games we are within touching distance of the Europa League and we are happy with that.

“We have won three out of three in that last ten, so with seven to go we head to Swansea in really good shape. Hopefully now we can get enough points to get us into Europe.”

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