Rabu, 30 Januari 2013

Pardew enthused by Sissoko

Moussa Sissoko: Impressive debut

Sissoko, a 2million capture from Toulouse, set up the opening goal for Papiss Cisse with a perfectly weighted pass and generally impressed in his central midfield slot.

Yohan Cabaye's stunning 20-yard strike increased the Magpies' lead before the break and all Villa could manage during a stirring second-half fightback was Christian Benteke's penalty.

Pardew, who also gave a debut to another French player in Yoan Gouffran, was surprised at how quickly the newcomers slotted in as Newcastle chalked up their first away win of 2012-2013.

He said: "When you are looking for players and trying to find the secret ingredient for your team, it's not always easy for players to come and fit in as they did in the first half.

"I was a little bit surprised myself if I'm honest. I don't think we would have won the game without Sissoko. That's how important I think that signing was.

"Sissoko really grabbed the game by the horns and that's what we nee ded.

"With Demba Ba departing from a team that hasn't been winning, it was a big blow for us and we really needed him for this game."

Pardew added: "We have worked really hard on integrating the new players into things.

"They are not here to save us, they are here to help us. That was my message to the established players.

"We had a nice night in the hotel the night before the game, a nice meeting, and you sensed there was a good feeling amongst them all.

"It was a terrific day for us because we were under a lot of pressure to win at Villa."

Villa have dropped into the bottom three for the third time this season despite dominating the second period and have taken only two points from the last seven games.

Manager Paul Lambert accepts his side cannot afford perform like in the first half.

He said: "We paid the price for starting too slowly. We just never got going in the first half. The second half, that's the way to pla y football.

"The first goal was really disappointing; the second goal, you sometimes can't stop them - it was a terrific strike - and then you are facing an uphill battle.

"But I couldn't fault them for the way they played in the second half. It is the first time I've seen a standing ovation when you've been beaten, especially at home.

"I just said to the players 'you can't play like that in the first half and turn that performance in during the second half'.

"It is sometimes easier to play when you are 2-0 down because no-one expects anything then. You've got to start like that - and we never started."

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