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Ben Arfa's back on right road - Pardew

ALAN Pardew was delighted to see Hatem Ben Arfa score his second goal for Newcastle nearly 15 months after he netted his first.

The Frenchman provided Toon fans with a tantalising glimpse of what they thought was to come when he crashed in one of the goals of the season against Everton in September 2010.

But two games later Ben Arfa suffered a broken leg in a tackle by Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong and did not play again for almost a year.

He is still working his way back to top form and has had to make do with substitute appearances for most of the season.

He began the St Stephen's Day trip to Bolton on the bench but eight minutes after his introduction in the 61st minute he expertly volleyed in Ryan Taylor's cutback. Two minutes later Demba Ba's 14th goal of the season sealed a 2-0 win.

It was Newcastle's first win in seven Premier League games, and boss Pardew said: "We know our strengths and we played to those.


"There wasn't a lot of space for Bolton to play in and in that environment we can create chances because we're good technically with (Yohan) Cabaye, Hatem, Demba Ba, (Leon) Best.

"In the first half I thought we rushed a couple of things but in the second half we took a little bit more time, we created the moment and it was nice to see (Ben Arfa) score because he had a terrible injury and it's been a long road for him.

"I think he'd consider himself more than an impact player but the role he is in at the minute, as he's building himself back, he's a big player.

"He has a high regard for his own ability, and it's important to have a player like that in your squad.

"He feels he can change it and he managed to do that, and it's good for us."