Newcastle put an end to Cisse's Olympic dream

The 27-year-old has been told by his club that he won't be allowed to join up with the Senegal olympic team for the 2012 games after playing in the African Nations Cup in January

Newcastle United have told striker Papiss Cisse that he won't be able to play for Senegal's Olympic squad in the 2012 games.

Senegal had said they wanted to include the striker in their squad after he scored an impressive 13 goals in 14 games for The Magpies last season helping them to a 5th place finish, but the club argued that they had already lost the player for a month in January due to the African Nations Cup.

"It was more the owners, really, who have to pay the guy's money," Alan Pardew told reporters.

"He had a full first half in Germany, he had the African Nations Cup, he had the second half of the season in his first year in the Premier League.

"He then had qualifying games, they want him again for the African Nations and they wanted him for the Olympics, and that was stretching it a little bit."

Pardew did admit he felt for the striker but believes it would be impossible for him to play in the tournament, he continued:

"As much as I feel for Papiss, because I am sure he would have wanted to play - he's not back yet, he's due back later this week - we have to make a call for his own health.

"I am sure he has got pressure from within the country for him to play and we have to release that pressure for him because physically, he couldn't do that. It's impossible."

Looking ahead to the new season, owner Mike Ashley even told Pardew he expected him to win the league this season, albeit with a tongue-in-cheek remark.

He joked: "Mike's suggestion is we should win it, and with less money, so that's a bit tricky.

"Look, we had a great season - I think our fans are realistic enough to know that we had a fabulous season last year.

"I met a lot of them on my travels on holiday, in the city or whatever, and they were all very pleased with last year."

Pardew has his feet firmly on the ground and realises it will be difficult to break into the top four of the league and secure Champions League football.

He continued: "People keep telling me that their expectations are going to go through the roof and they are expecting us to improve or get the same.

"I don't see that. I think they are realistic enough to know that until a team breaks into the Champions League, it's very, very difficult to compete with those top four or five clubs.

"Obviously, that's what we are going to try to do, but it's difficult.

"When we consider we finished fifth, the next jump is considerable to get into that top four."