Pardew welcomes Tiote return
Magpies boss glad to have midfielder back in fold
Last Updated: February 16, 2012 11:20am
Cheick Tiote: Will resume training with Newcastle on Monday
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew expects the return of Cheick Tiote from the Africa Cup of Nations to provide his side with a huge boost.
Tiote has missed the Magpies' last seven games while helping Ivory Coast reach the final of the tournament, co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
The Ivorians narrowly lost out on the trophy to Zambia after suffering a penalty shootout defeat in the decider on Sunday.
Tiote is now back on Tyneside and will return to training on Monday ahead of the Magpies' next game at home to Wolves in the Premier League on February 25th.
Pardew believes his comeback, as well as the return of Yohan Cabaye from suspension, will provide a significant lift to the sixth-placed Magpies, who were thrashed 5-0 by Tottenham at the weekend.
"It's about the next game now, and we've got Cheick coming back, and Yohan (Cabaye) available again," the manager told Chronicle Live.
"That's a boost for everybody. The players are focused on putting the last game behind them.
"We've given Cheick some time off. He's had a daunting run of games but he'll be back on Monday.
"I've spoken to Cheick, and he's OK. He did a really good job out there, but unfortunately they got beaten in a penalty shoot-out.
"They came out with a lot of credit. Cheick will have another chance in the African Cup of Nations in 12 months' time, and he'll be focused on Newcastle United now.
"He'll be ready to go again next week, after a rest. He'll be focused on helping his team."
Questions had surfaced over how Newcastle would cope in the temporary absence of Tiote and Senegalese striking ace Demba Ba but, despite Saturday's Spurs setback, the club remain firmly in the race for a top-four finish.
Pardew has been impressed by his side's response, adding "We're in a better league position than when (Tiote) left.
"Who would have thought that we'd lose Cheick and Demba (Ba), and when they returned we'd be in a better position?
"That's credit to the players we have here."