Moussa Sissoko hugs Papiss Cisse

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

As the clock ticked down and the ball just wouldn't go in for Newcastle United against Fulham, it seemed as if it was simply going to be one of those days for the Magpies.

But Alan Pardew's team refused to accept that, kept on going and, in the third minute of stoppage time, Papiss Cisse scored a vital winner which moved them five points clear of the relegation zone.

Last month Cisse scored last-gasp winners against Stoke City and Anzhi Makhachkala and Moussa Sissoko - one of the driving forces behind United's determined display against the Cottagers - hailed the never-say-die attitude of his team-mates.

Wave after wave of Newcastle attacks were withstood by the visitors before Yohan Cabaye's shot fell into the path of Cisse, who kept cool to spark joyous scenes at St. James' Park.  

"I didn't know what was going to happen but in our heads we knew that the victory was imperative," Sissoko told nufc.co.uk. "We had to go out there and fight and keep belief within ourselves.

"This is our spirit - we've got a great team spirit and we knew we had to go out there and win.

"We got the goal in stoppage time which just shows how fantastic the mentality is here, to go out there and fight until the very death and make sure we stay up.

"It was a fantastic result in a really important game. We had to win this today. We needed to get points on the board to make sure we save ourselves in this league.

"We know the other teams behind us are starting to catch up and get some points so it was very important.

"At half-time we knew it was difficult. The first half was very tight and we had to go out there and give our all, and obviously Papiss managed to get a goal in the last minute which saved us. It was fantastic.

"Now we need to go away and rest up ahead of the match on Thursday against Benfica which is really important."

Only a handful of tickets remain for that Europa League quarter-final second leg, while Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland sold out in less than six hours.

And an impressive crowd of 51,847 virtually filled St. James' Park on Sunday - with Sissoko believing they made a real difference to the team.

"They supported us until the end, the fans, and the fact that we won today was in part very much thanks to them and thanks to their support," he said.

"I just want to thank them very much for that and we hope that they will stay behind us all the way and continue to give us fantastic support.

"On Thursday we've got an important game where we need to score twice, so we hope that they're going to come along and help, and against Sunderland I'm pretty sure that they're going to be their in full voice." 

Click here to buy a Newcastle United shirt with Sissoko's name and number on the back