sport

Pardew thanks Newcastle board

Alan Pardew paid tribute to Newcastle United's board after the signing of five players this month spurred them on to a vital 2-1 win over relegation rivals Aston Villa at Villa Park.

New arrivals Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran and Mathieu Debuchy all started and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa came on as a substitute as Newcastle recorded their first away win of the campaign.

Pardew thanked the club's board for freeing up the cash to sign them - and then heaped particular praise on French midfielder Sissoko, whose sublime pass set up Papiss Cisse's opening goal.

Pardew said: "There has been a lot of work and effort to get that win, not just from the staff and the players, but the directors and [Newcastle managing director] Derek Llambias.

"It was obvious when Demba Ba went, in the position we were in, it was a blow to the personality of the team. But the new players have given us a lift.

"Sissoko was magnificent in the first half. He is going to be a powerful player in the Premier League.

"Sissoko made a difference today with his power and control, and he helped Papiss, who has been a bit isolated, especially since Demba [Ba] left.

"I have always had my eye on him. That's a nice little aperitif that he showed tonight."