Newcastle insist dressing room is United

UNITED ... Newcastle's Papiss Demba Cisse, left, and Hatem Ben Arfa.
UNITED ... Newcastle's Papiss Demba Cisse, left, and Hatem Ben Arfa.

NEWCASTLE United have hit back at reports of dressing-room unrest at St James’s Park.

There has been talk of disharmony in Alan Pardew’s squad in the wake of last weekend’s 6-0 defeat to Liverpool.

But the club has strongly denied there is a potentially-damaging split in Alan Pardew’s team, which is deep in relegation trouble with three Premier League games left to play.

A statement quoted managing director Derek Llambias, striker Papiss Demba Cisse and midfielder Cheik Tiote.

Pardew, captain Fabricio Coloccini and stand-in skipper Yohan Cabaye aren’t quoted.

Cabaye – who has captained the team in Coloccini’s absence – hasn’t spoken to the media in recent weeks.

Llambias led the attack on the stories over a divided dressing room, which appeared in the Daily Telegraph and The Mirror.

Telegraph journalists have since been banned from attending games at St James’s Park and the club’s Press conferences.

“The club is determined to turn things around, and everyone is working together to secure that goal,” said Llambias.

“It is not helpful when people try and distract the team and the manager with false rumours.”

Cisse said: “Every player is together. We are totally focused on Saturday’s game at West Ham, and the two games after that.

“We have a strong bond and we want the best for our club, our manager and our wonderful fans.

“We are not happy about recent results. Nobody is happy when they lose, but this has only made us stronger as a group and we will come through this together. There is no divide in the team.”

And Tiote said: “We want to let the fans know that all of the players are committed and we are in this together.

“We will fight to get out of this problem, and we know our fans will help us to do that. They are incredible.”

Newcastle are 17th in the Premier League, and five points above third-from-bottom Wigan Athletic, who have a game in hand.