Newcastle Utd’s Tiote will stay on pitch in Sunderland derby

Newcastle United's Cheick Tiote (left) and Sunderland's Lee Cattermole battle for the ball during the derby in  March this year
Newcastle United's Cheick Tiote (left) and Sunderland's Lee Cattermole battle for the ball during the derby in March this year

ALAN Pardew is hopeful an older and wiser Cheik Tiote will stay on the pitch at the Stadium of Light tomorrow.

Tiote saw red in last season’s meeting on Wearside between Newcastle United and Sunderland.

The combative midfielder caught striker Steven Fletcher late with a raised boot.

Newcastle led 1-0 at the time of Tiote’s dismissal, and the red card saw United lose their momentum, eventually drawing 1-1.

A disciplined and diligent Tiote put in his best performance so far this calendar year in Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Liverpool.

And Pardew is hoping the 27-year-old will stay on the right side of referee Lee Probert, who sent off goalkeeper Rob Elliot in the last Newcastle game he officiated, the 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road late last season.

“There is a maturity in Cheik,” Pardew said.

“Somewhere along the line, of course, he’s going to make a challenge which is a bit near the mark.

“He’s made a couple of silly challenges since I’ve been manager, but not in the last six or seven months.

“Hopefully, that will continue, and if it does, he’ll stay on the pitch.”

Recent derbies have been littered with red cards, with Lee Cattermole, Stephane Sessegnon, Phil Bardsley, Titus Bramble having also seen red in the fixture since United’s return to the Premier League.

Pardew – who was frustrated by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa’s dismissal against Liverpool – will address the issue with his squad.

But ultimately, the responsibility lies on the shoulders of his players once they cross the white line on Wearside.

“It’s essential you have discipline in this game,” he said. “You can’t afford it (indiscipline). You look at the game against Liverpool – a very even game.

“We were just shading it, and you lose a player at this level, and it’s huge, whether it’s Liverpool, Sunderland or Crystal Palace.

“Discipline is essential. That will be high on the agenda for Gus (Poyet) and me, I’m sure.”

Pardew and then-Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill had to be separated in an ill-tempered meeting between the two sides at St James’s Park in March last year.

Poyet’s first-team coach Charlie Oatway clashed with John Carver, Pardew’s assistant manager, during United’s two FA Cup defeats to Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.

Pardew is aware of the need for restraint on the touchline.

He added: “I’m not really concerned about that. I think that should look after itself.

“I’m just worried about the discipline of players, and that they conduct themselves in the right manner, and we set the right tone for our fans.”