DEMBA Ba’s been backed to turn his anger into goals – against the club which rejected him.
The Newcastle United striker showed his frustration after he was substituted in yesterday’s 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers with the score goalless.
Ba, without a goal in nine games, didn’t shake manager Alan Pardew’s hand as he left the field.
Pardew admitted Ba, also taken off in the Good Friday win over Swansea City, was “upset” when he was replaced by Shola Ameobi in the 64th minute.
Far from being angry himself, Pardew was heartened by his unhappiness, having been looking for a “reaction” from the 26-year-old, who has become frustrated at his goal drought.
And the Magpies boss is now confident Ba will be fired up for the visit of Stoke City to St James’s Park on April 21.
Earlier this season he netted a memorable hat-trick at the Britannia Stadium against the club which pulled out of a deal to sign him while at Hoffenheim after he failed a medical in January last year.
“Demba was upset when I brought him off, as I’d just had a go at him about something,” Pardew told the Gazette.
“I was trying to get a reaction from him, if I’m honest. I want him to be angry and fight. He’ll come out fighting. I know Demba, and I’ve got no worries about him.
“It wasn’t Demba’s day, but it might be in two weeks’ time.”
Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Demba Cisse got Newcastle’s goals after Ba’s withdrawal.
And Pardew’s confident the pair – along with Ba and Ameobi – have got more goals in them between now and the end of a season which it’s hoped will end the club’s five-year absence from European football.
“(Ba), Shola, Papiss and Hatem have massive roles to play for us between now and the end of the season,” said Pardew.
Cisse’s strike took his tally for the club to 10 goals from nine appearances.
Ameobi made a powerful run down the right, and his deep cross was met at the far post by Cisse.
Pardew added: “Cisse’s workrate was right up there with the rest, and he came up with a goal.”