YOHAN Cabaye’s confident Newcastle United’s battling win at Villa Park is the start of a revival at the club.
Alan Pardew’s relegation-threatened side recorded their first away win in eight months last night.
A stunning volley from Cabaye and a goal from Papiss Demba Cisse saw fellow struggles Aston Villa beaten 2-1.
Pardew handed full debuts to new signings Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran, and his team were dominant in the first half, leading 2-0 at the break.
But a penalty from Christian Benteke early in the second half reinvigorated Paul Lambert’s side, and Newcastle had to defend deep, and in numbers, to protect their lead.
And Pardew – whose side climbed one place to 15th in the Premier League – led his players to the club’s 2,000 jubilant travelling fans at the final whistle.
“Hopefully, it’s the start,” Cabaye told the Gazette.
“It’s very good for us – the new players have given us spirit on the pitch.
“We have more competition to play now each week. It’s important to be doing the right things in training in order to be in the starting XI at the weekend.
“It was an important game, and an important win. Three points for us weren’t easy.
“In the second half, they piled on the pressure, and it was more difficult for us. At the end, though, we held on to the points. It was very important to win.
“We saw two sides of football, but the win, for our minds, is very important.
“The first half was good for us – we had good play between the lines and each side of the pitch. In the second half, having (Charles) N’Zogbia behind Benteke was more difficult to deal with.
“But we were solid though and kept the points.”
All five of United’s transfer-window signings have come from across the Channel, and France international Cabaye is adamant that the team’s French-speaking arrivals will be quickly assimilated into the dressing room.
And the togetherness in the squad was evident after the game, when the players embraced on the field.
“It can work – we are a team,” added Cabaye.
“Yes, they’re coming to England, and it’s new for them, but they start English lessons soon, because they have to have it. It’s important.
“We have to respect English people by being able to talk to them, and it’s important for the group.
“We will help them, but they have to learn the language.”
Cisse struck early in the game from a Sissoko pass, and Cabaye beat Brad Guzan with a shot from outside the box after a Ron Vlaar clearance dropped for him.
After the game, the midfielder dedicated the strike to a friend who lost his wife.
“The ball came in from the right, and in my mind I think if the defender wanted to do his job well, he heads it behind him,” said Cabaye.
“He didn’t, and the ball came to me and landed perfectly. I wanted to focus on my first touch, a bit like the Liverpool goal.
“Then I showed composure and saw the ball going in.
“I dedicate the goal to somebody who lost his wife two or three days ago. His name is Ali and he is a close friend.”