ALAN Pardew says Cheik Tiote’s comments on his future were lost in translation – and he’s looking forward to him letting his feet do the talking!
Tiote was quoted in his native Ivory Coast as saying he wanted to leave St James’s Park in January.
The story followed an admission from United manager Pardew last week that Tiote had been “unsettled” by the interest shown in him by at least one club in the summer.
Locomotiv Moscow were keen to sign the 28-year-old, while Arsenal have also been linked with him.
Newcastle yesterday issued fresh quotes from Tiote, who said: “I am as committed as I have ever been to Newcastle.”
Pardew – who named Tiote as vice-captain in the summer – labelled the story an “unwelcome distraction” at a time when the club is struggling in the Premier League.
Tiote will be one of the first names on Pardew’s teamsheet for tomorrow’s game against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.
“When a player goes to their own country – and that can be Africa, France or Holland – we always seem to get misquoted versions of events, and this is one of those cases,” said Pardew.
“His last two performances have been world class for a team that hasn’t been functioning as it should be. That says it all for me.
“He’s a terrific player, a big character and I look forward to seeing him on Saturday doing what he does – playing football. He is one of our best players. It is an unwelcome distraction, and the quotes are not accurate.” Tiote – who missed the start of the season through injury – insisted his focus remains on United, and not a big-money move in January’s transfer window.
“I saw the quotes, but they are not accurate,” said Tiote. “Yes, there was some interest in me over the summer and that can be a bit distracting, but nothing came of it.
“I’m only thinking about doing my best for the team. We are not in a good position in the league right now, and I want to get us up to where we should be.”