Demba Ba opens the scoring against Stoke

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter


Stoke City is a fixture which conjures up fond memories for Demba Ba, and United's leading scorer believes it was a turning point in their remarkable season.

When the sides met at the Britannia Stadium last October, Ba struck a hat-trick - his second in Newcastle colours - to help record a comfortable 3-1 victory in Staffordshire.

He has netted 16 goals in total this term to push the Magpies to joint-fourth place in the Premier League table, and insists that result against the Potters made people finally sit up and take note of what United could achieve.

"That was a good game It was a very good win for the team, and I had a good game personally too, scoring three goals," Ba told the official matchday programme, ahead of Saturday's meeting with Stoke.

"It is not easy to beat Stoke and maybe that was when people started to realise that we were a good team and could do well this season.

"Not many teams go to Stoke and win there, but we were very good on that night.

"Stoke are a very strong team and it will be a very tough game this Saturday, but as long as we play our own game, our own football, and don't get caught up in what they are doing then we can win this game.

"I just hope we are going to get three points again and pick up the win to keep our brilliant run going."

Newcastle have been turned over just twice at home all season - both coming in December against Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion. And with the Magpies currently on a run of five successive victories, Ba knows they are in great form at just the right time.

"Our home form is important," he explained.

"It has been brilliant, and if you want to be successful then you have to do well in front of your own fans. We have done that, and if you look at the league table you can see where that has taken us.

"There is another home game to come on Saturday and we are expecting another win.

"It is important to keep our form going like we have over the last couple of months. Our challenge now is to take our run of wins to six games. Getting six wins in a row would be great and we will give everything we have got to do that."


For the full, exclusive interview with Demba Ba, who talks about formations, nine games without a goal and Papiss Cisse, buy Saturday's matchday programme