Pardew hails newcomer Sissoko after Newcastle earns vital win over Aston Villa

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Newcastle boss Pardew bullish ahead of Benfica clash
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Newcastle boss Pardew bullish ahead of Benfica clash

Alan Pardew has lauded Moussa Sissoko after the debutant played a vital role in Newcastle's 2-1 victory over Aston Villa.

The French international, who joined the Premier League outfit last Friday, took just 19 minutes to make a mark in his first taste of the English game by setting up Papiss Cisse for the opening goal. Yohan Cabaye doubled Newcastle’s lead before halftime as the struggling side held on to secure its first away win of the season, and Pardew was delighted with the performance of his new recruit.

"When you're looking for players and you're trying to find the secret ingredient for your team, it's not always easy for them to come out as fit as they did in the first half," Pardew told reporters. "I was a little bit surprised myself if I'm honest, Sissoko really grabbed the game by the horns, and that's what we needed."

Newcastle added five French players during the January window, with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haidara and Mathieu Debuchy also joining, and, despite Sissoko's excellent display, Pardew feels it will take some time for the new recruits to settle in.

"The French boys certainly felt the difference between Premier League and Ligue 1. A team comes out in Ligue 1 two down, they're going to try and pass through you and create a moment, not in the Premier League, they're coming at you full steam and we got caught out there. That's where they have to learn quickly," Pardew said.

"We worked really hard this week on integrating players, they're not here to save us, they're here to help us. We had a nice night last night in the hotel, you kind of sensed that there was a good feeling amongst them all."

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