Newcastle manager Alan Pardew faces losing Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse in January
Last Updated: October 12, 2012 10:14am
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew is bracing himself for losing at least one of three regular first-team players for the Africa Cup of Nations in January.
The match between the Ivory Coast and Senegal in an Afcon playoff in Dakar on Saturday will feature Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote.
The Ivorians lead 4-2 from the first leg and if they progress to the finals, then midfielder Tiote will miss six weeks at the start of the New Year because of international commitments.
If Senegal manage to turn the tie around, then Pardew will lose strike duo Ba and Cisse for the Afcon finals, but the Newcastle boss remains indifferent to the final result.
"Senegal v Ivory Coast is a massive game for this football club," he told the Daily Mirror.
"If Senegal win, we will lose both of them, so in the next window we would have to do something about it.
"I will either lose one world class player or two world class players, so I'd rather Cheick bangs a couple in - then I'll lose just the one player.
"If it's the other way round, I have no problem with that - I'll have Cheick Tiote on board.
"It's an interesting fixture, and I think it'll be hard [for visitors Ivory Coast] to hold on to a two-goal lead but we'll see.
"Senegal love Newcastle and if they heard the Newcastle manager is rooting for another country they wouldn't be happy, so I am completely neutral!"