NEWCASTLE United need Papiss Cisse – and his goals – more than ever.
Cisse has made an explosive return from long-term injury.
The striker has scored four goals in three Premier League appearances for Alan Pardew’s shot-shy team.
Cisse, set to play for Senegal tonight in their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Tunisia, will be a key figure for Newcastle over the coming weeks and months.
The 29-year-old said he was “hungry” after two barren years in front of goal after netting twice in United’s 2-2 draw against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.
And forward Yoan Gouffran believes he will feast himself on goals.
“Papiss is back – he’s a great player for us,” Gouffran said.
“He scores goals for the team. We need him – 100 per cent. I hope he keeps scoring goals.”
Newcastle, however, will have to do without Cisse in January should Senegal qualify for the African Cup of Nations, which will be staged in Morocco in January.
Midfielder Cheik Tiote could also go to the tournament with Ivory Coast, who play DR Congo tomorrow.
Cisse and Tiote will return to Tyneside later this week ahead of Saturday’s home game against Leicester City. And Gouffran was heartened by “character” shown by Alan Pardew’s side on a difficult afternoon in Swansea.
“We have showed some character, and now we know we can score goals,” said Gouffran.
“It’s good for the confidence.”
United, without a win in the league so far this season, are third from bottom, and Gouffran believes the first victory, however it comes, will prove all-important to a team which has struggled at both ends of the pitch so far this season.
“I think the first win will be very good for everybody, because we need it,” said Gouffran.
“We need to win to keep the confidence. We have to look forward.
“We need to win – if we only take one point, we stay down the table.”