Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has admitted his admiration for Sunderland dazzler Stephane Sessegnon.

Sessegnon goes into today's derby brimming with confidence.

"At the start of the season I thought he looked frustrated," said Newcastle's manager. "You could see he had talent, but it wasn't really transferring itself to the team. In the last third of the season, he has been as good a player, if not the best, they have.

"He has found a way to impact the game, he's got his game suited to the Premier League and that sometimes takes time. He's been brilliant."