Sport Soccer

Friday 23 February 2018

Pardew: Don't rely on Cabaye

Yohan Cabaye underlined his importance to Newcastle on Monday night
Yohan Cabaye underlined his importance to Newcastle on Monday night

Alan Pardew has warned his Newcastle players they cannot afford to rely on Yohan Cabaye digging them out of trouble every week.

The 27-year-old France international was left out of the starting line-up for Monday night's Barclays Premier League trip to Everton with his manager feeling something had not been quite right with him in training.

However, with his side trailing 3-0 at half-time and in danger of succumbing to a humiliating defeat, Pardew threw Cabaye on and watched him orchestrate a fightback which came up just short as they lost 3-2.

The Frenchman is likely to be restored at Cardiff on Saturday, when his manager will hope for more of the same, although he admits an over-reliance on a man who was coveted by Arsenal during the summer would be a dangerous thing.

Asked if Cabaye's display at Everton illustrated why it was so important for Newcastle to retain his services, Pardew said: "Yes, but we mustn't rely on him.

"His forward passing, his forward thinking got us back into the game, but there will be times when he is not there and we need to have that same attitude.

"But the answer to your question is he is very important. He's a great player and this club needs great players.

"He is one of the players who gives us the consistency of performance every week, and that's what some of our guys are searching for."

Newcastle head for South Wales needing a victory to rekindle their season after successive league defeats by Hull and the Toffees, and in the circumstances, Cabaye's name on the teamsheet would come as a welcome boost.

Pardew said: "He has trained this week since the game with no problems, and I don't see any issue with him in terms of starting this particular game."

Whether or not he will be joined by striker Papiss Cisse remains to be seen after the Senegal international was also not selected for the team at Everton despite ending his 11-game goal drought in the 2-0 Capital One Cup victory over Leeds the previous week.

The form of loan signing Loic Remy, who has scored three times in his last two games for the club, has in part mitigated Cisse's barren spell.

But Pardew, who cited Chelsea striker Fernando Torres' performance against Tottenham - before his sending-off - on Saturday as an example, is now looking for a response from his £9million man.

He said: "That's sometimes why you have to rest strikers, to say, 'Well, you are not on the teamsheet every week unless you perform to the levels that we want. What are you going to do about it?'.

"What great players do is react. Torres proved that the other day. He was left out and when he came back in, I thought he was superb, other than that silly moment he had.

"That's what we hope Papiss will do."

The Magpies sit in 16th place in the league table - where they finished last season - just three points clear of the drop zone.

However, Pardew is not unduly concerned and is confident once they re-discover the consistency which helped them secure a top-five place in 2011-12, they will make significant progress.

He said: "I have great respect for the players here. The group we have got, I think, is a good group.

"But we are just striving for what most teams are at the start of this Premier League - we are on the same points as Manchester United - we are striving for consistency of performance.

"Once you get past 10, 12 games, you should settle down and hopefully we will.

"We are off the back of a season last year that wasn't our best, and I think we are a little bit edgy from that.

"But I think we will settle down into what I hope will be a good season for us."

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