Premier League

Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote says winning is only way to keep critics at bay

Cheick Tiote: Newcastle midfielder wants team to stay together

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Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote insists the only way to answer your critics is on the pitch.

Tiote is set to captain Newcastle in the Wear-Tyne derby with Sunderland this Sunday as regular captain Fabricio Coloccini is sidelined through injury.

And the combative midfielder, who was sent off in the corresponding fixture last term, says that Newcastle need to stay together as a team.

"There is no escape from the criticism if we lose games. It is hard. But we know we have good players in this team. If everybody is focused we will do well," he told the Evening Chronicle.

"The only way we can answer people is by winning. If we lose we have to make sure we don't repeat the mistakes.

"We have been trying to do that in the last few games. We must stay compact as a team and stay together. If we do we'll win the game.

"When you're on the pitch you have to give everything for the fans and the manager."

Tiote insists he does not pay too much attention to any criticism that comes his way.

"I don't read anything on the internet or TV," he said. "It isn't important for me. We just have to focus in the most important area - on the pitch.

"If we do our jobs we will win games. That is the most important thing."

And he is hoping that he can help send Newcastle's travelling support home happy on Sunday.

"Our fans have travelled everywhere, I am always happy when we give them wins," he said.

"We don't want to send them home unhappy."

You can see Sunderland v Newcastle live on Sky Sports 1 on Sunday from 12.30pm