CHEIK Tiote’s backed Alan Pardew to guide Newcastle United into the Champions League.
Pardew last week signed a new eight-year deal as manager.
The contract was reward for Pardew and his staff after the club’s fifth-placed finish last season.
For long periods United were in fourth place, and the challenge for Tiote and his team-mates is to emulate – or better – last season’s achievements.
However, the club’s squad – which also has to cope with Europa League football this term – has already been stretched by injuries.
Pardew and his players face a challenging campaign at home and abroad, but midfielder Tiote is upbeat about the future at St James’s Park.
Asked if Newcastle could again compete for a Champions League place, Tiote said: “It’s possible, of course.
“But it’s early days, and it’s a long season, so we’ll just have to see where that takes us.
“Every player in the world at the moment wants to play in the Champions League, and we’re all ambitious, so I hope that is where we can go.
“That would be great for every player, and we can get there. As a player, that’s where you want to be.”
United – who face Bordeaux at St James’s Park on Thursday in a Europa League game – must do it the hard way given the financial restraints in place under Mike Ashley.
And there was understandable frustration that the squad wasn’t significantly strengthened over the summer ahead of the club’s return to European competition.
Despite a number of departures, the club only signed one senior player, Vurnon Anita.
“In terms of finances and depth of squads, we don’t have the resources of clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea,” added Tiote.
“The better we do on the field as a team will help improve the club on and off the field, and that’ll be great for the fans too.
“Success doesn’t come overnight, so we must all be patient.”
Pardew’s long-term contract allows for a longer-term plan, and Tiote has welcomed the move.
“I think it is good news for everyone and every player,” he said. “We know he’s done a good job with Newcastle.
“I’m happy to see him sign a contract for a long time. For me, it’s a good thing.”
Tiote is slowly finding form and fitness after a month on the sidelines with a calf injury.
With Newcastle facing Manchester United and Sunderland in their next two Premier League games, his return to Pardew’s side is timely.
“I’m happy to be back from injury,” he said. “Hopefully, I can do my job all of the time now. I don’t want injuries again.
“There are tough games coming up. Manchester United will be tough, and I will be doing everything to be fit for them.
“I want to get my fitness to the top level because I do not want to miss it. There are massive games for us.
“We want to win every game we play. There are good opportunities coming up, and if we do things right, we can win them,”