CHEIK Tiote’s out of Africa and back on Tyneside – and looking to win back his Newcastle United place.
Tiote flew into England last night after the Ivory Coast were knocked out of the African Cup of Nations at the weekend.
And he will train with his club team-mates tomorrow ahead of Saturday’s game against Tottenham Hotspur.
The midfielder, hugely influential in his first two seasons on Tyneside, has struggled for form this season.
United manager Alan Pardew said before the tournament he was looking for Tiote to get some fluency and confidence back into his game in South Africa.
“I’m hoping he can go to the African Cup of Nations, and find his best form,” said Pardew.
And the 26-year-old – who scored in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Nigeria – will be looking to take out his frustration at his country’s African Cup of Nations exit on Spurs.
However, Pardew will be reluctant to change a winning team at White Hart Lane, with Newcastle heading to North London on the back of successive victories against Chelsea and Aston Villa.
Utility player James Perch has played well as a holding midfielder alongside Yohan Cabaye, while new signing Moussa Sissoko has been a revelation in a more advanced role behind Papiss Demba Cisse.
Sissoko, signed from Toulouse for £1.8m last month, is hoping to play for France against Germany in Paris tonight before returning to Tyneside tomorrow.
The 23-year-old – who set up Cisse’s winner against Aston Villa on his debut last week – scored two goals in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Chelsea at St James’s Park.
“I could never have imagined making such a good start to my time at Newcastle,” said Sissoko, who is already being branded the signing of last month’s transfer window by many.
“My first home game was against Chelsea – the European champions – and we managed to win, and scored two goals.
“I was very happy on a personal level, although it was a collective performance from the whole team. We all played a big game.
“At Newcastle, I have been asked to take the game to the opposition.
“I am playing in a move forward role, and I can express myself.
“This is the championship for me. This is the one that fits my style best. “The last few weeks at Toulouse were not easy, so when Newcastle offered me the chance to join in January then I did not hesitate.
“I know is a very good club, and I am still getting to know it.”