- Premier League
Pardew hails win over Villa as club effort
Alan Pardew thanked Newcastle's board for giving him the green light to reinforce his squad after the club ended a six-game winless run by beating Aston Villa.
January signings Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran and Mathieu Debuchy were all selected to start, and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa came off the bench, in a 2-1 victory at Villa Park.
The Magpies put in one of their best halves of football this season in the first 45 minutes to take a 2-0 lead into the break, thanks to goals from Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye.
Villa came back to dominate the second-half and had plenty of chances to draw the game but that did not dampen Pardew's enthusiasm for how his side seem to be coping with life after losing Demba Ba.
"There has been a lot of work and effort to get that win, not just from the staff and the players, but the directors and [managing director] Derek Llambias," Pardew told Sky Sports.
"It was obvious when Demba Ba went, in the position we were in, it was a blow to the personality of the team. But the new players have given us a lift."
Pardew reserved special praise for box-to-box midfielder Sissoko, signed from Toulouse this January, and whose pass set up Cisse for the opening goal. He added: "Sissoko was magnificent in the first half. He is going to be a powerful player in the Premier League. Sissoko made a difference with his power and control, and he helped Papiss, who has been a bit isolated, especially since Demba left.
"I have always had my eye on him. That's a nice little aperitif that he showed tonight."