Pardew: We've moved on from Ba
Alan Pardew believes Newcastle United have moved on from the departure of striker Demba Ba to Chelsea.
Ba, 27, was Newcastle's leading goalscorer for the campaign, but joined the European Champions in early January after the Blues activated a contractual release clause of just £7.5 million.
The former Hoffenheim forward made his long awaited return to St James' Park on Saturday, but lasted just over 40 minutes of a 3-2 defeat after sustaining a broken nose following a challenge with defender Fabricio Coloccini. Keen to move forward, Pardew believes that in Ba's absence, new heroes can be found.
"Teams do move on," he said. "This club's had Andy Cole and Alan Shearer, blimey it's difficult to move on from players of that quality and Demba come and did a great job for us, but new stars emerge.
"As well as Sissoko played, with Cabaye it was nice to have our intelligence in the team. When to go long, when to go small, when to keep the ball, when to try and get at the opposition. I thought he was outstanding.
"I've been at some big clubs where you don't get an atmosphere like that. Big, big clubs. Even at Manchester United. You can go to three quarters of their home games and you don't get an atmosphere like that. It was unbelievable. That's what we've got. Demba's going to miss it at Chelsea, trust me."
With the Senegalese forward wincing after his clash with Coloccini, Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez was left in no doubt that his side should have been awarded a penalty.
"I think there were too many mistakes. I could see a red card that was not shown for Coloccini," Benitez said.
"So we had a chance, he [Demba Ba] had the ball, he received a kick and got a broken nose, it was bleeding. It was so simple, if it was in the middle of park you would go back and give a free-kick.
"It is very simple and very clear - penalty and red card because it was a chance. It's a strange rule and the penalty could have changed everything. A player with a nose bleeding and a broken nose is good evidence. I have a lot of respect for them, but it is just the decision that is wrong."