He scored 16 times for the Geordies last term, but only one of them came after his return from the African tournament in early February.
Ahead of Thursday's Europa League group- game at home to French side Bordeaux, Ba has revealed: “The Africa Cup of Nations weighed enormously on my mind. I found it very hard to digest.
“I needed two months after the tournament to recover from it.
“But I love football. You can’t achieve things in the game if you don’t enjoy it and I got back my love for the game by playing in the Premier League.
“When you add hard work to that feeling, the goals will come for you.”