ALAN Pardew says Cheik Tiote’s suspension could prove a blessing in disguise for Newcastle United.
Tiote is suspended for this afternoon’s game against Manchester United at Old Trafford after picking up his fifth booking of the season.
The midfielder was shown a yellow card in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers for a shirt-pull on Shaun Wright-Phillips.
While frustrated to be without Tiote, Pardew – whose side are at Arsenal on Saturday – isn’t unduly concerned about his absence given the form of James Perch and Vurnon Anita.
“We’ll have him fresh for Arsenal, so there’s always a bonus to come out of something like that.” Pardew said.
“I don’t think we’ll miss him too much. In Anita and Perchie, we have two options now for Cheik, where as we only used to have one.
“That bodes well. It gives me the options of playing either one in those positions.
“Perchie brings you a defensive resilience – he’s a ball winner – and Anita gives you that passing and retains the ball.”