Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cisse Still Vital Cog in Wheel - Carver; Carver Not Concerned by Cisse's Knee Woes

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cisse Still Vital Cog in Wheel - Carver; Carver Not Concerned by Cisse's Knee Woes

Article excerpt

JOHN Carver says that Papiss Cisse still has plenty to oer Newcastle United after insisting his knee problems are no "big issue", writes MARK DOUGLAS.

Cisse is out for seven games after being embroiled in a spitting row with Manchester United's Jonny Evans and still faces questions about his long-term future. Newcastle rebued an oer for him last month but with two years left on his contract, and at 28, the theory is that Cisse could be moved on in the summer as part of a squad overhaul.

To add to the mix there are also questions about his knee: Cisse underwent a minor procedure to remove a screw from his knee this week. But Carver - who has the United head coach job until the end of the season - says that he does not see that as a major problem and believes that Cisse's goalscoring record makes him an important asset.

Asked whether he has a longterm future, the United interim boss said: "It's a dicult question to answer because I'm only think-thinking about the now, and I haven't got him for seven games.

"But the fact (is) he scores goals, I don't think his knee is a big issue, and I have said that from day one, really.

"We have always used this word 'maintenance', and all it is is maintenance with him, just making sure that everything is right.

""ere was a part of the process where we were going to have to do this maintenance on his knee anyway because of the operation he had in the

past. If anything good has come out of it, it's actually the fact that we can do it now, in a strange way."

Cisse's suspension is a spanner in the works for a player who has Turn to Page 88 FROM BACK PAGE been enjoying one of his most productive seasons.

Everyone at Newcastle felt that the striker got what he deserved but Carver said that he acted under extreme provaction - and suggested that it was bizarre that if he had reacted with physical force, his ban would have been halved.

Carver said: "What he did was wrong, first of all, but it's very dif-ficult to act on a situation when somebody has actually done that to you, and until somebody actually does it to you, you don't know how you would react. …

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