Pardew welcomes Tiote return
Magpies boss to recall Ivorian midfielder against Gunners
Last Updated: February 4, 2011 8:12pm
Tiote: Vital to Magpies
Alan Pardew is ready to hand Cheick Tiote an immediate return to the Newcastle starting XI on Saturday.
The Magpies are set to play host to title-chasing Arsenal this weekend and know they will need to be at their best if they are to contain Arsene Wenger's free-flowing side.
Winning the midfield battle will be key, with the Gunners renowned for their ability to play around teams.
With that in mind, Pardew is delighted that Tiote will be available again following a three-match ban.
The 24-year-old enforcer has become an integral part of the Newcastle side this season, with his value not lost on his beaming boss.
"Other than perhaps a sloppy goal against Fulham, we've been sound," Pardew told the Magpies' official website on how the club have fared without Tiote.
"We've gained a good collection of points over the last few weeks and obviously have Cheick back.
"If I'm slightly smiling it's because he's such an important player to us and I'm so pleased to have him back.
"He hasn't been a big loss because in the three games he's missed we've been terrific in that area.
"But there's no doubt that he comes back into the team. That's the quality he has and that he brings to the side.
"Unfortunately someone's going to miss out who probably doesn't deserve to, but he has to come back in. He's very, very important."