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Newcastle's minor upturn in form ended abruptly with a 1-0 win defeat at relegation threatened Fulham, in the Magpies' first game since Alan Pardew's suspension for headbutting Hull City midfielder David Meyler was confirmed. Assistant manager John Carver took charge, and was asked about goal shy striker Papiss Cisse, whose barren run in front of goal continues.
“It’s always a worry, but the good thing about Papiss is is that he’s prepared to work hard, and at least he’s getting in there and creating the chances,” Carver said. “If he wasn’t getting in there, it would be a bit concerning. At least he’s getting in there and creating the chances. Unfortunately, they’re not going in at the moment.”
With Cisse struggling to hit the back of the net all season, it was Pardew who looked to bring in another striker in the January transfer window, and added Dutch international Luuk de Jong in a loan deal from Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach. However, de Jong has still to hit the back of the net, and reflected on their defeat at Craven Cottage as 'boring'.
"We wanted to win this game, of course," de Jong said. "I think the game was quite boring for the fans – not much happened – and we didn't score from the moment when we had a big chance. Afterwards, they got a good chance and scored."
“But it was amazing support. There are always big numbers at the away games. You can always hear them during the game. We wanted to win this game for them. We wanted to give a little bit more," he added.
Meanwhile, the Magpies will surely look to strengthen their squad in the summer having spent none of the money they raised from selling Yohan Cabaye, and Valencia's Algerian playmaker Sofiane Feghloui has been linked with a move to the North East at the end of the season. The La Liga club are believed to be seeking a £12m fee for Feghouli, which would take up a large chunk of the budget at St. James' Park.