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Newcastle boss Pardew: You're welcome, French football...

Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew feels French football has something to thank him for after the performance of his Les Bleus yesterday.

Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko both struck in the 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion.

Gouffran and Sissoko's respective contributions mean 18 of Newcastle's last 19 league goals have been scored by Frenchmen, a statistic bettered in Europe's five biggest leagues only by Lyon.

Pardew said: "There's a good chance I could win French Manager of the Year. It's something I have got my eye on.

"A lot of offensive players happen to be French, so that would fit in with them scoring most of the goals.

"When they arrived in January, certainly the four who are prominent at the moment - Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko, Mathieu Debuchy and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa - there were question marks about their commitment, their mental strength for this division and their physical strength, and they did struggle a little bit.

"But they have overcome that now, and Yohan's interview this week was very, very good when he said that the France national side is benefiting from his new capability of coping with the energy in this division.

"In Ligue 1 in France, it isn't as high-impact and as high-energy as the Premier League. These guys are benefiting from it and I can understand why the French manager is looking at our players, because they are playing at a higher level, there's no doubt about that."

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