Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew was pleased with Hatem Ben Arfa's return for their 0-0 draw at Europa League opponents Anzhi.

Ben Arfa returned from a 12-week injury lay-off to play in an unaccustomed striking role.

Pardew said: "It's something I have thought about in the past with Hatem because if I was a central defender, he's the last person I would want to get possession in and around the box.

"He obviously isn't 100 per cent fit, but he still put a really good shift in today. He actually lasted longer than I thought.

"Dropping deep and Moussa [Sissoko] going in behind, I think it's a nice option, and if we lose Cisse any time between now and the end of the year, I will look at it again.

"I think it worked okay and certainly when he us up to speed - and I don't think it's going to take him long - he can play that role, no problem."