Newcastle United pair ready to strike fear

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DEMBA Ba and Leon Best have been backed to carry on scoring for Newcastle United.

Ba netted a hat-trick in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Blackburn Rovers, the result keeping the club fourth in the Premier League.

And his strike partner Best should have added to his three-goal tally at St James’s Park.

Ba, signed from West Ham in the summer, had a slow start to his career on Tyneside.

Manager Alan Pardew felt Muslim Ba would only start to hit form after Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, when he couldn’t eat or drink during daylight hours.

Ba was livelier in Newcastle’s previous game at Aston Villa, when he showed “flashes” of his talent.

And there was no stopping the Senegal international after he opened his account with a well-taken goal against Blackburn in the 27th minute.

Another strike followed three minutes later and Ba completed his hat-trick after the break.

Now he is up and running, Pardew is confident there are enough goals in his team, despite the club’s well-documented failure to sign a number nine in the transfer window.

While the names of Ba and Best don’t strike fear into opponents like the league’s bigger names Pardew feels they can be a handful for any side.

“The two strikers were terrific – they were outstanding,” Pardew said.

“If you called them different names – Rooney and Hernandez – you wouldn’t have got a better performance.

“At Villa, I thought Demba showed flashes. He linked the play. He did that again and got his goals.

“He will score goals. He’s always on the move and hungry for goals.”

Best had decent goalscoring opportunities in each half and Pardew added: “I genuinely had sympathy for Best, because I thought he should have had two goals. He deserved them.”

Meanwhile, Yohan Cabaye hailed what he felt was a complete team performance.

Cabaye, signed from French champions Lille in the summer, was again outstanding in the heart of Pardew’s midfield alongside Cheik Tiote.

The 25-year-old has already won over United’s fans and the France international is grateful for the support he is getting from the stands as he adjusts to life in English football.

“We stayed unbeaten, won and Demba scored three goals, so I’m very happy,” said Cabaye.

“For us, it was a very good game and second half. We showed good spirit and good team play with a lot of passes.

“We kept the ball well and I think the fans were happy.

“I thank the fans for their support – the team wanted to play well for them.”

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Obertan, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez (Marveaux 84), Ba (Ben Arfa 74), Best. Subs Not Used: Harper, Guthrie, Lovenkrands, Perch, Sammy Ameobi. Goals: Ba 27, 30, 54.

Blackburn: Robinson, Salgado, Samba, Givet, Dann (Rochina 63), Hoilett, Lowe, Nzonzi, Olsson, Formica (Roberts 63), Yakubu (Grella 79). Subs Not Used: Bunn, Petrovic, Vukcevic, Hanley. Sent Off: Olsson (69). Booked: Olsson, Lowe, Nzonzi, Salgado. Goals: Hoilett 37.

Att: 46,236 Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).