Carver: No issue with Cisse confidence

Alan Pardew's right-hand man does not have any worries about the Senegal international's form and was delighted to see him finally end his goal drought
Newcastle United assistant manager John Carver does not believe there are any issues with Papiss Cisse's confidence in front of goal.

The Senegalese forward struck in stoppage time to give the Magpies all three points against Crystal Palace in a 1-0 win on Saturday, ending a run that had seen him fail to find the net since December.

But Carver, who took over touchline duties at St James' Park in the absence of Alan Pardew, praised the 28-year-old’s attitude and insisted that his barren run was more down to bad fortune than poor finishing.

“There’s nobody more pleased for him [Cisse] than me,” he said.

“I said after the game last week how hard he does work on the training ground to put things right and he certainly did that today.

“He’s not going missing, he’s not hiding and sometimes you can when you’re lacking in confidence.

“I don’t think he’s lacking in confidence, I think he’s just lacking in a little bit of luck, and maybe he’s got that luck today.”

Fans around St James’ Park were left celebrating a stoppage-time winner for the second home game in a row after Loic Remy notched in injury time against Aston Villa last time around.

And Carver insisted he never lost faith in his side’s ability to steal the points, pointing to the Magpies' knack of picking up late goals this season.

“As long as we’ve got time on the clock, we believe we can score right up until the last minute because we’ve done it before on a number of occasions," he said.

“When Hatem [Ben Arfa] cut inside I thought he was going to shoot but he’s had the sense to stick it on Papiss [Cisse's] head and he’s probably taken the hardest chance of all the chances he’s had today.”

Palace boss Tony Pulis was far from happy over the timing of the winning goal, insisting the game should have finished long before Cisse’s header found the back of the net.

However, he still had plenty of praise for his players after another valiant display in the North-East.

“It’s disappointing,” said the former Stoke City manager. “I thought for an hour we did very, very well.

“We tired a little towards the end and they had a couple of chances but I really thought we’d seen it out.

“You look at the video, we think we should have had a free-kick outside their box with just a minute to go, and then they come down and they score, which is over time.

“I thought we had some good opportunities. Sometimes you get blasé about things.

“We’ve just got promoted, the odds were stacked against us and, like at Sunderland, our players worked their socks off and we’ve caused them some problems.”