JOHN Carver has admitted Newcastle United will find life difficult without Papiss Demba Cisse in the New Year.
Cisse could be hit with an FA charge tomorrow after an apparent elbow on Seamus Coleman which went unpunished in yesterday’s 3-2 win over Everton.
And United’s next game, on New Year’s Day against Burnley, was expected to be Cisse’s last for some time anyway, with the striker set to link up with his Senegal team-mates for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Whether Cisse is suspended for the Burnley game or not, Newcastle are sure to be without him for much of January, and possibly the start of February, because of his involvement in the tournament.
The 29-year-old will be a huge miss for Newcastle after he took his tally for the season to nine with a first-half strike against Everton.
Carver said: “Obviously, he’s the guy in form at the moment, scoring goals.
“It has been a difficult time managing him because of the issues he has had with his knee, but he will be a big miss because he’s the one guy who is scoring goals for us.
“We will have to deal with that situation, as other clubs will.
“For the goal, he was Johnny on the spot again. He’s in the right area, and puts it in the back of the net.”
On the controversial incident with Coleman, Carver added: “Somebody has just mentioned it to me there.
“All I can say about it, and this is honest, is that all I saw was Seamus Coleman lying on the floor.
“I haven’t had a chance to look at it on the TV. I went into the dressing room afterwards, because we have an Under-21 fixture on Tuesday.
“I was sorting out the players for that, and then the manager asked me to go and do the press.
“I’ve been quite busy, but since people have mentioned it, then we’ll have to have a look at it.”