Newcastle star Papiss Cisse: Play me as a striker

The Senegal international wants to feature in his favoured position rather than adapt on the wing as he looks to recapture the sensational form produced during his debut season
Newcastle forward Papiss Cisse believes that the club can challenge for higher places next season if he is played in his favoured position.

The Senegal international was prolific in his debut campaign for the club, notching 13 goals in just 14 appearances through the middle, but was pushed out wide for much of last season.

The departure of Demba Ba in January allowed Cisse to occupy a more central position, however, and the 28-year-old wants that to continue.

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"I hope to play in my best position as much as I can. My best position is striker," he told The Chronicle. "I had never played right wing in my life. It was my first time at Newcastle. It was okay because I was doing it for the team.

"It was difficult last year because we were fighting not to go down. The year before, all of the players enjoyed the games and couldn't wait for the next one. We tried our best but we hopefully will have all of our players back, not too many injuries.”

The striker has yet to see any new arrivals join him at the club during this window, despite the appointment of a new director of football in Joe Kinnear.

However, Cisse believes that the squad already have enough quality to compete at a higher level than they did in last season's relegation struggle.

"We have a good squad. I enjoy playing for this team. Next season, we will challenge," he remarked. "We have Hatem Ben Arfa, [Moussa] Sissoko and Yohan Cabaye and the team can challenge at the higher end of the table."