Pardew: Cisse form can't last
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has warned man-of-the-moment Papiss Cisse life in the Premier League may not always be as easy as he is making it look.
Cisse, 26, took his tally for his new club to 13 goals in just 12 appearances with a sensational double in Wednesday night's 2-0 victory at Chelsea which propelled the Magpies back into the thick of the race for Champions League qualification.
In the process, he set up a potentially thrilling clash with title hopefuls Manchester City on Tyneside on Sunday with Newcastle eyeing a top-four finish and a European adventure.
However, Pardew, who has worked with a series of top strikers including City's Carlos Tevez during their time together at West Ham, knows there are likely to be tougher times ahead.
"It's early days - this is only half a season. His confidence is very, very high - at some point, it will be low, and that's when maybe me and my staff need to kick in,'' he said.
At the moment, we are just running along with him. It's early days for Papiss and he has really hit the ground running.''
Cisse, a near £10 million signing from German club Freiburg in January, announced himself in style with a winner on his debut against Aston Villa, and has not looked back since.
Some of his strikes have been simply breathtaking, but his second at Stamford Bridge, an outrageous volley from an unpromising position, is a genuine contender for goal of the season.
Asked if the frontman's form was a reward for the homework the club had done before making their decisive move for him, Pardew said: "You have to say that that's true, but we also have a great work ethic at the training ground, which I think is easy to buy into.
"We also have a great spirit and of course Demba [Ba], who has had to suffer, really, after Papiss' arrival in terms of working for the team, has helped him settle in and made it a lot easier for Papiss. But at the end of the day, he has still got to play brilliant football and score goals, and that's what he does. His confidence is very, very high, as he showed against Chelsea.
"Really, he perhaps should have run that [the ball for his second goal] into the corner, and he took a chance because he knew it was a chance for him, as slim as it might have been for the rest of us. That's the sort of confidence level he is at."
Cisse is not the only man in the Newcastle dressing room brimming with confidence after a remarkable run of seven victories in their past eight league games which has left them vying with Arsenal and Tottenham for third and fourth places.
Pardew said: "We are still the outsiders, purely because of the fixtures we have and the fixtures that Arsenal and Spurs have. We could win both games and still not get into the Champions League, which would hurt, but we are going to try to do that and hopefully Spurs or Arsenal slip up somewhere.
"Everybody has got tough games in the Premier League. There's no gimme in this division, so we have just got to try to win our games and see where we are.''