Ba is back in Pardew's good books
The Newcastle manager, Alan Pardew, has attempted to draw a line under his problem with Demba Ba by revealing there has been an apology by the player for the outburst that followed his decision to drop the forward for Newcastle's game at Everton on Monday.
Ba's brother, Hamady, branded the decision "crazy" on Twitter and the player's agent, Alex Gontran, claimed he "did not understand the management" and that he would "look at other solutions" if Ba continued to be a substitute.
The Senegal international forward came off the bench at Everton to score twice, and Pardew has said he will start today when Newcastle face Norwich at St James' Park, and that he would now like the issue to be buried.
"Demba hasn't been playing well, he came on [at Everton] and proved what a great player he is, and he is a great player, but we all need to focus our minds on the job in hand," he said. "He's an intelligent boy. Things have been said from within his camp which I think have been unfortunate. We've had somewhat of an apology for that as well.
"Make no mistake, he'll start [against Norwich]. Him and [Papiss] Cissé will start. We need them back to their best because they haven't been at their best until that second half at Everton when I thought, suddenly, 'here we go'."
Newcastle, Pardew admits, have not found the form that earned a fifth-place finish last season. "All teams go through periods when you're not performing at your very best," he added. "We're kind of in that zone but picking up points."
Pardew will today complete his two-game touchline suspension for pushing referee's assistant Peter Kirkup during Newcastle's victory against Tottenham. In the visiting dugout with be Chris Hughton, who will return to St James' Park for the first time since he was surprisingly dismissed as manager.
"I wasn't party to why he left and I don't really want to comment on that," Pardew said. "All I can say on a professional level is he did a super job."
Newcastle United v Norwich City is today, kick-off 3pm
Latest in Sport
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 2 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove