Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Revived by Rafa, Tiote's Determined to Lead Fight to Keep Toon in Top Flight

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Revived by Rafa, Tiote's Determined to Lead Fight to Keep Toon in Top Flight

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER Chief Sports Writer lee.ryder@trinitymirror.com @lee_ryder

CHEICK Tiote won't look back on the 2015/16 campaign with many fond memories after what has proved to be a nightmare season for the long-serving Newcastle United midfielder.

However, with just three games to go, the 29-year-old enthuses about the prospect of finishing what has been a testing campaign on a major high.

Even though 17th place is likely to be the highest position United can finish this term, there is still a huge prize at the end of what feels like a long dark tunnel.

The price of survival this year is PS100m due to the TV deal that kicks in this summer - not to mention the prospect of securing Rafa Benitez's services long-term.

And if Newcastle can finally come good after a season of trials and tribulations, Geordie fans could yet end it by waving off bitter rivals Sunderland to the Championship.

Tiote's problems this season started when he missed the club's pre-season tour of the United States due to visa problems.

He was then shocked to see headlines accusing him of being a "bad egg" in the camp during the first few weeks of Steve McClaren's tenure.

Injury woe, including an untimely muscle problem sustained against Chelsea, also hindered Tiote's impact.

Now I again. I finish this strongly, stay up." Cheick And on the back of the previous term, which saw Tiote's season cut short due to a knee issue picked up at the African Cup of Nations playing for the Ivory Coast, it's little wonder that the midfielder has looked miserable at times.

With things not going Tiote's way it also looked like a move to the Chinese Premier League would offer him the chance of a fresh start.

But that also fell through, meaning he stayed at Newcastle. Things may not have worked out under his old FC Twente boss Steve McClaren, but once Rafa Benitez was appointed, the African midfielder was one of the first players he summoned to his office to see when he could get back on the pitch.

So far Benitez seems to be getting the best out of the battling midfielder.

feel good just have to season and if we it will be great tiote There was even a moment at Anfield last weekend in which he put in an immaculate tackle on James Milner that brought back memories of Tiote at his best for the club. …

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