YOAN Gouffran says Newcastle United’s players are targeting an extended cup run – though Manchester City’s star-studded squad stand in their way in the Capital One Cup.
Gouffran netted the decisive second goal as the Magpies defeated Leeds United 2-0 in last night’s third round tie at St James’s Park.
Alan Pardew’s side will now face Manchester City at home in the next round next month, looking to avenge their 4-0 season-opening drubbing from Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Newcastle’s hierarchy this week told supporters at an inaugural Fans Forum meeting that the Premier League was the over-riding “priority” for the club.
But Gouffran is adamant that the team can challenge for a top-10 place in the league – and attack the doemstic cups.
“We want to get out there and try to win some silverware,” Gouffran said. “That’s what we’ll do – we want to get as far as we can.”
Papiss Cisse opened the scoring in the 31st minute with a powerful header to end his 1,005-minute goal drought.
Leeds came out strongly early in the second half, and Gouffran’s 67th-minute strike, his first at St James’s Park since joining the club in January, effectively settled the game after a nervy period.
He took a pass from Sammy Ameobi with his back to goal, turned and beat visiting keeper Paddy Kenny from 20 yards with a fierce right-footed effort.
The 27-year-old said: “I’m very happy – it was a nice goal to score.
“It was my first home goal at St James’s Park, so I’m really chuffed. It was an important goal.”
Gouffran is hopeful his performance will earn him a start against Everton at Goodison Park in Monday night’s Premier League clash. “That’s why I’m here – I came to play,” he said. “Last season I started every match.
“This season it’s been a bit more difficult, but I’m not giving up.
“I will go out and give 100 per cent.”
Meanwhile, Cisse is back up and running after ending his goal famine, according to manager Pardew, who hopes that the striker can now start to make an impact in the league.
Cisse planted a powerful header from a Sammy Ameobi cross past Kenny to break the deadlock.
Cisse has struggled for form so far this season, but Pardew resisted the temptation to drop him in the belief that the Senegalese star could get his all-important first goal of the season in the third-round tie. “He had a couple of big chances before that and snatched at them, and it just goes to show where he was, really,” said Pardew.
“Goals can settle a player down, and hopefully it will because he’s not been as powerful and as good as he had been.”
Asked if Cisse had been fretting over his lack of goals, Pardew added: All strikers, when they are not scoring, don’t feel like they have done their job.
“Goalscorers want to score goals, and he’s always disappointed if he hasn’t scored. He has had a few good chances in these last few games, but that was an important goal. How important? We’ll have to wait and see.”
Ameobi, who also set up Gouffran’s strike, won praise from the manager.
“They were two great goals – both made by Sammy in different circumstances,” said Pardew.
“It was good ability from Sammy for the first, and then a simple pass. The second goal was all about Gouff’s setting himself and a fantastic hit. That was really one of the best goals I have seen at that end – a top-drawer goal.”
Leeds gave as good as they got for long periods with powerhouse frontman Matt Smith causing all kinds of problems for defenders Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson – and the visitors were only denied an early lead by the crossbar after Tim Krul saw Ross McCormack’s delicate effort sail over him.
Substitute Gabriel Obertan had two opportunities to extend the lead as time ran down but on both occasions, was denied one-on-one by Kenny.
NEWCASTLE: Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett, Gouffran, Anita (Gosling 80), Tiote, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Cisse (Obertan 71). Subs not used: Ben Arfa, Yanga-Mbiwa, Bigirimana, Vuckic, Alnwick. Goals: Cisse 31, Gouffran 67
LEEDS: Kenny, Byram, Wootton, Pearce, Warnock, Austin, Mowatt, Tonge (Diouf 63), McCormack, Smith, Poleon (White 63). Subs not used: Murphy, Green, Hunt, Brown, Cairns. Booked: Mowatt.
Att: 36,220. Ref: Mike Jones (Cheshire)