Pardew can cope without Ba
Alan Pardew is confident Newcastle can cope without Demba Ba after the win over Manchester United.
Last Updated: 04/01/12 11:06pm
Alan Pardew is confident Newcastle can cope without Demba Ba after the striker signed-off before the African Cup of Nations by inspiring a comprehensive win over Manchester United.
The Senegal international scored the opening goal, with what was his 15th strike of a brilliant season, in what will almost certainly be his final game before departing for international duty.
Along with Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote, Ba - a free signing from West Ham last summer - will be a major loss, but Pardew is not overly concerned.
The Newcastle boss saw his squad compensate for last January's £35million deadline day sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool and he expects a repeat performance.
Pardew told Sky Sports HD1: "You see the guys who came off the bench contributed.
"(Leon) Best in particular stepped up to the plate when we lost Carroll.
"We knew it was going to happen and we accept that - it was a great new year for us."
Meanwhile, Pardew was keen to praise the bravery of his team, as Newcastle recorded a first win over United at St James' Park for more than a decade.
Yohan Cabaye's brilliant, second-half free-kick and Phil Jones' hapless, late own goal followed Ba's opener and the Newcastle boss was hugely satisfied.
Pardew said: "We won because we controlled the game in terms of what we wanted to do, we wouldn't let them play.
"Physically and aerially today we had an advantage.
"It was a great victory for us - we beat the champions 3-0 and we probably deserved that scoreline.
"You've got to have brave players who are going to push on - we had some outstanding performances individually."