Newcastle v Benfica: Alan Pardew faces balancing act over role of Papiss Cissé

Tyne-Wear derby awaits after Europa League tie

The image of Papiss Cissé screaming in joy and jumping into the Gallowgate End, one captured by a razor sharp supporter, against Fulham at St James' Park on Sunday, went viral. It was the third successive home game the forward had scored a winning goal in injury-time. It could prove the defining moment of Newcastle's season.

A clumsy question, before the Europa League quarter-final second leg with Benfica, about whether Cissé was the one player who could never be substituted, brought a telling response from Alan Pardew, the Newcastle manager.

"Of course it's possible to substitute him," he said. "I've got Adam Campbell and Shola [Ameobi] breathing down his neck. That is the competition he has with Hatem [Ben Arfa] coming back. I think this is going to be a 14-man game. I will use 14 players, and whatever I feel is needed in that last period of the game, if Papiss needs to be refreshed, he will be."

Playing the full game (it could be 120 minutes) as sole, goalscoring centre-forward is not an option. But bringing Cissé on towards the closing stages is.

If the match is 0-0 with 20 minutes to go (Newcastle trail 3-1 from the first leg), throwing on Cissé could prove more effective. There is also the Premier League to consider. If Newcastle lose to Sunderland on Sunday, the gap between the two North-east teams will be two points, thrusting them back into a relegation fight that promises to have a brutal conclusion. Going down is not on the agenda, so Pardew has to plot the most precarious of paths. History on one hand (Newcastle have not won a major trophy since 1969), a huge step towards safety via a derby victory on the other.

"There would be clubs who would give their right arm to be where we are," he said. "We want to win by two goals and go through. The mentality is good. We must score twice without conceding. Every player wants to give everything. Unless you are one of the four or five biggest clubs in the country, to get to the quarter-final is something special. Our view is we were unlucky in Portugal.

"You never know [what will happen]. Looking at the Dortmund coach [Jürgen Klopp] he was in tears at the end of game. Would I be in tears? Possibly. We just want to do the best we can, and the best we can is to go through.

"If ever there was a week to underline that a game is never over it's this one, with our goal against Fulham, the late equaliser by Wigan [against QPR], and then the two goals at Dortmund. It was astonishing. It has given us a real sense of belief."

Pardew cannot play a full strength side. Steven Taylor is out with a knee injury but should be back on Sunday and Cheick Tioté will also not play, but will against Sunderland. Deciding what to do with Cissé, his only regular goalscorer, is proving more tricky.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Voices
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
Sport
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
Extras
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Voices
voicesBy the man who has
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Sport
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?