Moussa Sissoko and Papiss Cisse

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

He's popped up with a host of last gasp goals in recent weeks and Papiss Cisse will again keep on going until the last whistle as Newcastle try to overcome Benfica on Thursday night.

It is his vital away goal at the Estadio da Luz seven days ago which gives United hope against the Portuguese giants, who lead 3-1 from the first leg but come up against a Magpies team who have found a canny knack of having the last laugh.

Cisse in particular has developed a penchant for late strikes, having netted in stoppage time against Stoke and Fulham in the Barclays Premier League and headed home with the last kick of the game against Anzhi Makhachkala in the previous round of the Europa League.

Sunderland come to Tyneside for the Tyne-Wear derby on Sunday but first, Newcastle are bidding for a place in the semi-finals of the continental competition and Senegalese striker Cisse admitted: "It's a massive week. 

"I think it's a week which every professional footballer would want to be involved in.

"We're doing well at the moment in the Europa League and I hope we're going to continue that adventure.

"The mentality is good. We know we must go out there, score two goals and we can't afford to concede but we'll take it as we do every game. We're ready and every single player wants to give everything."

St. James' Park came alive in the 93rd minute of last weekend's win over Fulham when Cisse scored and then ran into the crowd to celebrate with them, and he believes the fans have a huge role to play again on Thursday.

"It's always an absolute pleasure for me to be able to play in front of these fantastic supporters," he said. "It's the supporters who give me strength to score goals and perform on the pitch.

"On Sunday, the goal I scored was especially for them. Everyone wanted to take away three points so we could climb a little bit further up the league and as soon as that goal went in my first thought was for the fans so I went and celebrated with them.

"I tell myself as long as the referee hasn't blown his whistle, the game isn't over. I'm an attacker, that's my job. I always have to be ready to score at any moment.

"There's always a chance until the whistle goes that I can score.

"We know that we need to score goals in this match so I'm up for it. I'm going to do my very best so that we can win this match and hopefully get into the semis."

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