Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse hopeful of goalscoring spree


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The Independent Online

Papiss Cisse is hoping he can go on another memorable scoring burst to ease the pain of Newcastle's Capital One Cup exit.

After a stunning first half-season in the Premier League, when he bagged an incredible 13 goals in 14 matches, Cisse has found life tougher second time around.

Prior to last night's trip to Old Trafford, the Senegal forward had failed to score in six games this season and his place in Alan Pardew's starting line-up was coming under threat.

However, introduced as a second-half substitute against Manchester United, Cisse made an instant impact, nodding home Shane Ferguson's cross, and then rattling the bar with a textbook overhead kick.

And whilst his contribution was not enough to prevent the Magpies sliding to a 2-1 defeat, it is clear Cisse's confidence is starting to return.

"Yes," the 27-year-old told, when asked if he thought he could now go on a goalscoring streak.

"I am very happy. For me it was very good to score.

"Two would have been very good but a goal didn't happen at that time."

Although they are nicely wedged in mid-table, Newcastle have struggled to hit the heights this term.

Cisse's dip in form is one reason.

However, they are also dealing with the additional weight of expectation last season's fifth-placed finish has brought to a club where fans need little encouragement to get optimistic.

Anything lower than last year may be viewed as a relative failure.

Pardew realises he has to deal with that.

However, he is adamant Newcastle have a better overall squad now, which should enable them to ride over the kind of dip that eventually cost them a chance of Champions League qualification.

"You have to earn the right to play a certain level of football in the Premier League," he said.

"We had a strong finish last season. But our depth this year is stronger.

"It is very difficult to improve on our starting XI from last year. But we didn't have it every week and it cost us.

"This time, I look at my group and know if I lose someone, I can replace them like-for-like.

"That is going to be very important as the season goes on, especially in the Premier League."