Newcastle star Tiote grounded for Leeds clash

Cheik Tiote
Cheik Tiote
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CHEIK Tiote is out of Newcastle United’s visit to Leeds United on Sunday.

The midfielder didn’t return from the United States with the rest of his team-mates.

Instead, the Ivory Coast international flew to Ghana because of a visa issue.

And that means the 25-year-old won’t be available for the Leeds United friendly on Sunday, when manager Alan Pardew will welcome Joey Barton and Yohan Cabaye back to the fold.

The pair were denied work visas for the club’s three-game United States tour, which culminated in a 3-0 win over Columbus Crew on Tuesday night.

Newcastle are now focused on their first visit to Elland Road since the club was relegated from the Premier League in 2004.

Tiote’s absence isn’t a significant blow for Pardew given he has featured in United’s tour games.

And he will work on his fitness in Accra over the next few days before he returns to England next week ahead of Newcastle’s home friendly against Italian side Fiorentina on Saturday.

Ryan Taylor, meanwhile, remains a doubt with the groin problem he suffered on Orlando City’s artificial pitch on Saturday.

SEE Friday’s mail for interview with Shola Ameobi