Football - Cabaye "stronger" for beating demons - Pardew

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is convinced midfielder Yohan Cabaye is a stronger man for having come through a bout of depression earlier this season.

PA Sport

The 27-year-old revealed last week while away on international duty with France that he had struggled to cope after heading straight from his first campaign in British football to the Euro 2012 finals and then back into Barclays Premier League battle.

Cabaye took reassurance from books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal as he dealt with his issues, and Pardew revealed it had been a difficult time for the former Lille star.

He said: "Obviously we, and particularly myself, had to help him through that stage. It was difficult for him.

"Physically and mentally, he hadn't coped with anything as strenuous as last year. To fight for the Champions League and become a regular in the French side and the championships took it's toll on him.

"But he has certainly come out of the other side a stronger person. He is a fantastic character.

"He is one of our best players, if not our best player, and he is back to his very, very best and we are very, very lucky to have him."

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