Alan Pardew has hailed the impact that new signing Moussa Sissoko has had on the team.
The Newcastle boss even believes that Sissoko is a better strike partner for Papiss Cisse, than Chelsea hitman Demba Ba.
Ba left the Magpies for Chelsea in January for £7.5 million after scoring 13 goals in 20 games for the club, but Pardew replaced the Senegal striker with Toulouse forward Moussa Sissoko and the Newcastle coach now believes that their new man is a great partner for Cisse.
He told reporters after beating Southampton 4-2 on Sunday: "I've been saying for a long time since I arrived at this club that we've never really had a natural No.10 because, in the modern game, you need to have that.
"Moussa came in and is much better at that [than Ba]. Obviously Demba's a striker, he plays that No.9 role for Chelsea, but we have Papiss.
"It gives us different options, a bit more freedom to attack thanks to his natural ability and defensive attitude. We need it. I think it's a better combination than what we had before."
Instead of looking down the league, Pardew believes with the help of Sissoko and Cisse Newcastle can push for a top half finish.
"Look at the league table and we've now put ourselves in a position to attack 10th and that was why it was important to get victory today.
"We should attack the top 10 now and we can with this team; it's a considerable difference to six weeks ago, with people returning and the new players."
The Newcastle manager also hailed the return to form of Papiss Cisse after his stunning 35-yard-strike made you think back to last season and the fantastic goals he was scoring effortlessly.
"[Cisse's goal] reminded me of that goal of the season from Alan [against Everton] many years ago here, a dipping volley. As soon as he hit it you sensed it was in and of course the net ripples. He's got that in him, Papiss, he's done it before but it was a really fantastic one today."
Next up for Newcastle is a trip to League Cup winners Swansea City and Pardew will be hoping his new attacking options continue to flourish.
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