Ba admits to mixed feelings

Ba will link up with his country in the New Year and is looking

forward to competing at such an exciting tournament and trying to

win some silverware. However, his absence will leave the Magpies

with quite a void up front as the striker has been in prolific form

since making the move to St James’ Park in the summer. Newcastle’s

recent results have seen them drop away from the top six after such

a strong start, and Ba recognises what an important month it will

be for the club. “It will be a terrible blow to leave the team next

month. This is my club and I am proud of it but this is for my

country,” he said in The Sun. “I am going there to play for my

country and to try to win. “I am not going there for a holiday. It

is a big tournament. “I have mixed feelings about going away, but I

have to do it. “I want to make my people and my country proud in

the African Nations Cup. “I will feel sad leaving at this stage

because everything is going well, although we need to improve some

of our results.” Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has admitted it will

be a major blow to lose Ba, especially as Leon Best has failed to

score since September. “In terms of the other strikers not

contributing, or rather not scoring at the moment, yeah, perhaps

that is a worry,” said Pardew. “We’re going to have to look at the

side and make sure we get the balance right so that we’re not so

dependent on Demba. “I am a little bit worried about Leon (Best).

I’ve mentioned his potency as a goalscorer before. “That’s what he

is – a goalscorer. But he’s not really getting a lot of chances to

show that. “We’ll have to wait and see. I just think the last

couple of games we’ve created enough chances for him to have got on

the end of something, so we’ll have to look at that.”