Alan Pardew reveals harsh half-time team talk for Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse

Striker went on to score the winner against Fulham

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has revealed how a half-time pep talk to eventual hero Papiss Cisse almost badly backfired.

For the third successive match at St James' Park, Cisse grabbed an injury-time winner as United defeated Fulham 1-0 to ease their fears of relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

It was Cisse's 11th goal of the season, and arguably his most vital, as Newcastle are now five points clear of the bottom three.

But it nearly never happened on this occasion as Cisse took to the pitch for the second half deflated after Pardew had highlighted at the interval where he felt the Senegal striker was going wrong.

After watching Cisse miss a number of chances during the opening 45 minutes, Pardew said: "I don't normally do it, but I showed him a big chance we had in the first half.

"It was when he should have passed back to (Sylvain) Marveaux for a tap in to underline the composure we needed in the second half.

"His reaction was very negative. He was so upset with himself, and I actually questioned whether it was the right thing to do.

"But then he goes and does what he did at the end of the game that no other player in our group would do.

"Maybe (Fulham striker Dimitar) Berbatov was the only player on the pitch who would have done what he did, so fair play to him."

Cisse's goal, after spurning other chances in the second half, came in the fourth minute of the five added on for injuries by referee Kevin Friend.

Cisse showed lightning quick reactions to latch on to a rebound that fell into his path with a smartly taken volley from 10 yards that gave goalkeeper Mark Scwarzer no chance.

St James' Park erupted, with Cisse earning a booking for celebrating with the fans, whilst Pardew also lost control as he charged down the touchline before jumping into the jubilant supporters.

"It was sheer relief," explained Pardew of his exuberance.

"I was carrying all the stress of how important the game was, so it was nice to jump in the crowd.

"I didn't do it intentionally, it was a moment that came into my head at the time.

"It's difficult when you do something like that. I've had a couple of occasions in the past where I've jumped in the crowd.

"It's just a natural thing I wanted to do at that time with the fans. It was for them really as it's not been our greatest season."

For Fulham boss Martin Jol, the goal was naturally a sickener, ending his side's five-game unbeaten run and still leaving them a point shy of the magical 40 likely to be required for safety.

Jol would like to believe his side are not in danger of the drop, but can take nothing for granted as he said: "I don't think we're in trouble.

"But then 10 years ago you needed 44 points to stay up, a couple of seasons ago a club needed 42, but then five or six seasons it's been 36 points.

"I think you need a lot of points this year to be safe, but I think we are fine, although you never know.

"At least we've a very good goal difference compared to other teams, so that is important, but of course we would like a few more wins."

PA

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