Newcastle United’s Demba Ba is on a high

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IN-FORM Demba Ba’s confidence is sky-high at Newcastle United – and the striker is ready to shoot down the Swans at the Sports Direct Arena tomorrow.

Ba took his tally for the season to 11 with his two goals in last weekend’s 4-2 defeat at Norwich City.

The 26-year-old has been a revelation up front since his summer move from West Ham United on a free transfer.

Ba is gunning for tomorrow’s opponents Swansea City, who stand between Newcastle and a first win in five games.

“My confidence is high at the moment,” Ba said.

“That’s not only due to my goals at the moment, but also to the work I’m doing during the whole week.

“I just want to keep my confidence high, even if I don’t score. I’m just going to keep on working the way I have been.

“My team-mates are giving me confidence. When they see that you score some goals, they give you the ball automatically.

“Every ball I have, I just try to do something.

“When it’s in front of goal, I try to score the chances and make the team feel comfortable.”

Swansea, for their part, are making a decent fist of their first season in the Premier League, though Brendan Rodgers’s side – who are 11th in the table, and nine points behind seventh-placed United – are yet to win on their travels.

While they haven’t won any league games away from the Liberty Stadium, they’ve won plaudits for their brand of attacking football.

Ba isn’t under-estimating the challenge in front of him and his team-mates, who face West Bromwich Albion at home next Wednesday, in their last game before Christmas.

Ba said: “We hope we’re going to do it.

“It’s 11 men against 11 men, so it’s not going to be that easy. We’re just going to go into the game with our confidence high.

“Even though we didn’t win the last games, our confidence is still high, and we’re just going to do everything to win.

“The mood and spirit in the team’s still very good. I’m not worried.”

Meanwhile, manager Alan Pardew yesterday confirmed that contract talks with Danny Simpson have been put on hold until the summer.

The long-running talks with Simpson had broken down after an agreement couldn’t be reached on the terms of proposed four-and-a-half year contract.

“We’ve both decided we’ll have to run to the summer,” said Pardew.

“We’ll have to look at other options if he feels he doesn’t want to stay.

“It hasn’t changed my position in terms of how I see him, it’s just business. If he doesn’t sign, we’ll look at someone else.”

Simpson has two and a half years left on the deal he signed in January last year after joining from Manchester United.