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The Magpies' manager was effusive in his praise of the Senegalese striker as he stated his belief that his side have improved since his former strike-partner's departure

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has hailed his new-look team and, in particular, the in-form Papiss Cisse as he expressed his delight with the change in style and performance after Demba Ba's departure to Chelsea.

Newcastle have registered four wins from six games since deadline day and look to have steered clear of relegation, sitting nine points clear of the drop heading into their game against Wigan on Sunday.

Pardew appeared delighted with Cisse's contribution of late - he's scored injury-time winners against both Stoke and Anzhi in the past week - and has drawn comparisons between his current side and the team that contained Ba, feeling that the former compare favourably.

"Papiss Cisse is in tremendous form. Goals definitely change a striker’s mentality. His effort and work rate for us has been first class all year. But when you get those special goals at those crucial times, it’s got to give you a lift. He is definitely playing against Wigan on Sunday, that’s for sure," he told the Daily Mirror.

“We were a different team when Demba Ba was here. We had different players. For me, this is a more modern team, a more intelligent team and hopefully we can take that forward.

“We had a fantastic run last year with both Demba and Papiss in team – seven wins in a row – it’s just that it didn’t work so well this season."

The Magpies boss did not, however, blame Ba for the disappointing start to the season, citing the January transfers as important factors in Cisse's recent resurgence in form.

"But the team behind Papiss and Demba was weaker. We had no Yohan Cabaye for long spells, there was no Hatem Ben Arfa. We didn’t have Moussa Sissoko either or Mathieu Debuchy’s delivery from right back," he continued.

"So a lot of things were against us then – it’s a little unfair to just look at Demba and Papiss for our poor start. I just think Papiss is in the zone now."

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