Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has admitted that losing striker Damba Ba during January has hit the club hard.
The Senegalese star left to join Chelsea earlier this month, with the Londoners activating his much reported release clause.
Pardew confessed that Ba’s departure has been tough to deal with, but that they are recovering:
“The loss of Demba, I think, really impacted on us. You only have to look at the goals scored and you would have to say it has.” He told Sky Sports.
“We have had to react to that and hopefully, we have reacted in the right way.”
The Magpies have reacted by investing heavily in their squad, with a mixture of domestic and European games having exposed a real lack of depth.
Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massaido Haidara, Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko have all arrived from Ligue 1 in attempt to get the club’s season back on track.
With a wealth of new players and some key squad members returning to full-fitness Pardew believes that their quest to move up the table is achievable:
“It’s a kind of restart for us because we are so much stronger in terms of depth and quality within the group,”
“We have got Yohan (Cabaye) coming back, and he’s like a new player; Debuchy has come into the building and settled quickly, (Sylvain) Marveaux is playing well, and then the new boys on top of that.”
The ex-Southampton boss also played down the situation of captain Fabricio Coloccini, who is reportedly unhappy at the club and seeking a return to Argentina with San Lorenzo:
“Fortunately for us, he remains our captain and committed to the cause, make no mistake about that.”