Newcastle United boss
His agent Alex Gontran caused consternation on Tyneside when he suggested the following day that Ba might have to consider his options if he found himself sitting on the bench too often in the future.
Pardew's response in Madeira was more diplomatic than it might have been, with the initial response behind the scenes one of acute displeasure.
He said: "That's just people needing to say things they shouldn't say, really, but it doesn't really affect me and Demba. We have got a good relationship."
Pardew signed Ba last northern summer and saw him plunder 15 goals before heading off to the African Cup of Nations, after which he scored just once more before the end of the campaign.
However, he was asked to play a slightly different role on his return, one of the strands of Gontran's criticism.
That early form led to speculation that a series of suitors might activate the £7.5 million ($11.65 million) release clause in Ba's contract during the northern summer, although the deadline came and went without incident.
Relief at the player's continued presence was tempered by the belief that he had been touted around for sale, and it would be no surprise if the rumours started once again as the next transfer window approaches.
In the meantime, Pardew has no problem making the tough decisions he needs to to balance the demands of trying to compete on four fronts.
He said: "The bottom line is you have to get your players to play at their best and sometimes there are different methods of doing that."
Ba and compatriot Papiss Cisse were conspicuous by their absence when a largely inexperienced 19-man squad jetted out from Tyneside for Thursday evening's (Friday morning AEST) UEFA Europa League clash with Maritimo, although Cisse was withdrawn because of illness.
Shola Ameobi will start on a night when 37-year-old
The goalkeeper made his first senior appearance for the club in almost 17 months in the away leg of the play-off against Greek side Atromitos last month, and as a result of number one
Asked if he thought he would ever play in
"He said we had a lot of games and if I still wanted it, it was there for me, so at the start of the year there was light at the end of the tunnel and here I am."
Despite spending much of his career as
He played in a famous 1-0 UEFA Champions League victory over Juventus at
Harper said: "Obviously, the two Champions League games against Juventus and Dynamo Kiev were special, the Feyenoord night, going to
"The good thing about this is, I was able to sit and look at the draw and the bonus is we are going to three places we haven't been to before.
"We are going to Madeira, Bordeaux and Bruges. I was looking at the draw and looking at Partizan Belgrade thinking, 'I've been there twice, can we please go somewhere else?' Not that there's anything wrong with Belgrade, but you just want to go out and experience new places.
"It's fantastic to come to Maritimo and I'll hopefully get to
UEFA Europa League
Malaga playmaker Isco has vented his anger and frustration after the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed the Andalusian club's appeal against a ban preventing it from playing in European competition next season.