Ba 'top drawer'
Demba Ba was described as "top drawer" by Newcastle manager Alan Pardew after the Senegalese striker grabbed the only goal of the game to beat Norwich 1-0.
Ba had come off the bench on Monday night to score both goals in his team's 2-2 draw at Everton, but had since been embroiled in a row with the club after his agent suggested the player should be a regular starter.
Pardew has put that down to a misunderstanding, but insists that it is impossible to guarantee a starting place for every player in a season where Newcastle are also involved in the Europa League.
"There is no way that Demba can play every game this season. He is going to miss some other games - so will Shola Ameobi and so will Papiss Cisse," said Pardew.
"The best thing we can do is try to play the best players we have and get a win, and Demba led from start to finish today. Not just his goal - in the dressing room, everything about him was top drawer."
Ba, who has a £7.5 million release-clause in his current contract, has apologised to Pardew for the furore and the manager is happy to try to put the incident behind him.
"There has just been so much nonsense written about it. His agent sent me an e-mail saying he was misquoted, and I actually believe him," said the Newcastle manager.
"I am not usually one to believe agents that much, but I do believe him on this occasion, and I also think Demba's anger has been generated in the right way - to improve for Newcastle United."