Ba admits to mixed feelings

Striker committed to Newcastle and Senegal ahead of African Cup

Demba Ba: Sad to be leaving next month but wants to do his country proud

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Demba Ba has admitted he will be sorry to leave Newcastle for the African Cup of Nations but is also proud to represent Senegal.

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."

Pardew worry

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."