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Magpies' manager believes his side are as good with the Senegalese duo leading the line rather as with the 23-year-old, but suggested the door is always open for him to return

Alan Pardew insists Newcastle are as good a team with Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse up front as they were with Andy Carroll, but would never rule out bringing the striker back to St James' Park.

The 23-year-old moved to Liverpool for a £35 million fee in 2011 but failed to impose himself at Anfield, and was allowed to move to West Ham on loan this summer by new boss Brendan Rodgers.

And Pardew has stated that he believes his side are now as strong with the Senegalese duo up front than with Carroll leading the line - but left the door open for a potential return for the Newcastle native in the future.

"We missed Andy [Carroll] a bit after he left in January [2011], but after that summer we were as good without him as we were with him. However, I would never dismiss bringing him back here," he told reporters.

The 51-year-old manager revealed the sales of Kevin Nolan and Carroll were a big loss to the dressing room, but other players have since taken on the responsibility and flourished in the team.

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He continued: "Kevin and Andy were two big characters who went out of the door. Luckily others emerged, or we would have been in ­trouble. We haven't really missed Andy.

"I'm happy with the strikers I have – Shola Ameobi, for instance, was magnificent the other night in Bruges."

Carroll suffered a hamstring injury in his first appearance for West Ham, against Fulham in a 3-0 win in September, but since his return has been in good form despite failing to score in the Premier League so far this season.

The Hammers are Newcastle's opponents at St James' Park on Sunday afternoon.

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