Shola Ameobi and Papiss Cisse

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

Alan Pardew believes he has three strikers who are all hitting top form in Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Shola Ameobi.

Ba has arguably been Newcastle's stand-out player this season, netting six goals in just five starts, while Cisse has looked back to his former self in recent weeks, with two goals in his last three showings.

Ameobi also got off the mark for the season on Thursday night against Bordeaux and Magpies boss Pardew is delighted to have a selection headache in the final third of the pitch.

"All our strikers have scored this week," he explained, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against Manchester United.

"The media kept telling me that they don't score at the same time, but Shola has scored, Papiss has scored and Demba has scored.

"If I'm honest, Shola is playing at the same level as the other two and is in contention to start this game.

"That is great news for us as it breeds competition."

Pardew paid particular praise to Ameobi, whose selfless displays do not always get the recognition they deserve.

He led the line superbly in United's midweek Europa League tie and Pardew insists the 30-year-old is still a key member of his squad.

"Shola is always desperate to play," he said.

"I think our fans now realise how important he is to us, whereas maybe in the past they didn't.

"He is improving as he gets older and is maturing like a good wine!"