Tiote Well Short Of His Best
Alan Pardew is backing Cheick Tiote to return to his destructive best.
A calf injury has limited Tiote's involvement so far this season, but having appeared as a late substitute in Saturday's disappointing 3-2 home defeat by Hull and started the 2-0 Capital One Cup third-round victory over Leeds on Wednesday, he is ready to begin his campaign in earnest.Referring to his contribution in midweek, Pardew said: "On transition when we were attacking and we turned over the ball, we were more solid, and Tiote had a lot to do with that."He was back to near his best. He was a lot more comfortable in possession than last year. He looks more like himself and I am hoping for a big season from Cheick."I didn't think last year went well for Cheick in terms of the player he is, and that coincided with the team."When he's at his best, I think we are at our best and defensively on Saturday (against Hull) he could have made a difference."He gave us a little lift at Villa when he came on, so the signs are good. He has been unlucky to be out of the team because of injury and he has a chance now to reaffirm the quality he has."He's an economical user of the ball. He does a lot of work, a bit like Tiote, which doesn't always go detected."But he has his nose in front of Cheick at the minute, and Cheick will be desperate to address that."That's what you want, that's the competition. Vurnon is under pressure to play well because he has Cheick Tiote, one of the best in the last few years in the Premier League, breathing down his neck."But it's his economical use of the ball which has been beneficial to us in recent games."
Source: Newcastle United Mad
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