Cheick Tiote vows to find best form to help save NUFC

STRUGGLE ... Tiote hasn't hit his best form this season.
STRUGGLE ... Tiote hasn't hit his best form this season.

CHEICK Tiote’s vowed to find form and fitness – and quick – as Newcastle United battle relegation.

Tiote, who returned from injury in Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby defeat, has had a stop-start season.

And the injury-hit midfielder has struggled to rediscover the form of his first two seasons at St James’s Park.

The 26-year-old knows if 13th-placed Newcastle are to stay in the Premier League, he needs to be at his best in the club’s last five games, with West Bromwich Albion next up at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

“I will do my best to stay fit until the end of the season,” Tiote told SportMail.

“We have so many important games coming up.

“The manager needs every player fit. He needs every player to fight in the last five games.”

There has been a backlash from angry fans in the wake of United’s 3-0 defeat to Sunderland, the loss the club’s heaviest in a Tyne-Wear fixture for 34 years.

The result left Tiote and his team-mates in a precarious league position, with United one of six clubs battling to avoid finishing in the last relegation place.

Supporters are expecting a strong reaction from Newcastle to the Sunderland game at The Hawthorns, where they won 3-1 on their way to a fifth-placed finish last season.

And tough-tackling Tiote is confident they will get one against eighth-placed West Brom – and beyond.

“I think it’s important for the players to do everything now – and next season – to turn it around,” he added.

“We must use this as motivation – we don’t want to feel like this again.”

Tiote missed four games with the hamstring injury he suffered in training last month.

And the Ivory Coast international, along with Mathieu Debuchy and Hatem Ben Arfa, has been doing extra work at the training ground this week to get up to speed.

Last season, Ben Arfa, back from a hamstring injury, was on target at West Brom, where Papiss Demba Cisse netted twice.