Tiote up and running at Newcastle

HAPPY DAYS: Newcastle United's Cheik Tiote celebrates after Leon Best scored their second goal
HAPPY DAYS: Newcastle United's Cheik Tiote celebrates after Leon Best scored their second goal

CHEIK Tiote is finally up to speed at Newcastle United – and relishing the challenges ahead of him.

A frustrated Tiote missed the latter part of pre-season while getting his visa renewed in Ghana.

The 25-year-old’s enforced spell training alone in West Africa with physio Derek Wright set back his fitness, and Tiote admits he’s been playing catch up since then.

But Tiote now has three Premier League games under his belt, and is fully fit going into Ivory Coast’s African Nations Cup qualifier away to Rwanda in Kigali on Friday.

Beyond that, Tiote and his Newcastle team-mates take on Queens Park Rangers – and former colleague Joey Barton – at Loftus Road on September 12 looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

And Tiote – who helped United overcome Fulham 2-1 at St James’s Park on Sunday – is just relieved to be up and running again.

“I’m happy, because I feel good now,” Tiote said.

“Missing part of pre-season meant the first game wasn’t easy, but I’m OK now.

“I’m working for the team, and improving.

“It was hard in Ghana. It’s not the same if you’re training alone as when you’re with the team.

“I didn’t play a lot of games before the season started, but I’m good now.”

SEE Tuesday’s Mail for full story