Alan Pardew believes Liverpool's Andy Carroll has the potential to shine on the international stage and backed the under-fire striker to find his feet at Anfield sooner, rather than later.

Carroll is set to feature against his former club when Newcastle travel to Merseyside on Friday evening, with the two sides separated by just a point.

And Pardew revealed he did not want to sell Carroll to Liverpool in January but ultimately the £35m transfer fee proved impossible to turn down.

"You never want to lose great players and we never wanted to lose him [to Liverpool]," said Pardew. "I would take him back if I had the chance. If the fee wasn't as high as it was then he would still be here. It was a decision, as a football manager which was a very difficult one for me.

"I was 60-40 for keeping him but for the finances of the club there was a strong opinion upstairs and they are my employers. We all looked each other in the eye and said it was going to have to happen. He has not really had a run in that Liverpool side and like all strikers he probably needs a run.

Carroll has endured a frustrating first full season at Liverpool, scoring just two goals in 16 appearances.

But Pardew said Liverpool's supporters must keep faith in the No.9 as he adapts to life at Anfield.

"He is a great lad and a great player. I like Andy and I was disappointed to see him left out of the England squad last time because I think he can be an England player, England's No.9, but he has to play himself into the squad.

"He is going through a period of transition really. He is finding his feet, finding that they play slightly different to what we did. But he will find his way."

Meanwhile, one player not suffering in front of goal this season is Carroll's replacement at Newcastle, Demba Ba.

The Senegal international has scored 14 times in 17 appearances since joining the Magpies from West Ham United on a free in the summer.

And Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish was quick to praise the 26-year-old striker who has fired Newcastle into contention for Europe this season.

"He's scored 14 league goals this season, so with a guy like that up front I imagine Newcastle will come here trying to attack," Liverpool manager Dalglish said.

"Newcastle took a chance on Ba when he failed a medical at Stoke and they have been rewarded. I think he has been the pick of their signings this year but he's not the only good player they have brought in. I've been impressed with Yohan Cabaye and a few others as well."