It was obvious to all who saw the game on Tuesday night, that Cheick Tiote makes a huge difference to the Newcastle team, when he plays.
Tiote trying to dance with Michael Carrick on Tuesday
His all action style, and phenomenal work rate, plus his ability to win the ball, seem to be so crucial to Newcastle, and when he’s missing , like he had been in the previous couple of games, the Magpies are simply not the same side.
But Cheick has missed 6 games through suspension this season, and he again picked up a yellow card on Tuesday on his return from a two game suspension, his 11th of the season.
And that’s an area he must improve on in his game, and his manager Alan Pardew has already made that abundantly clear to the Ivory Coast International.
Cheick was interviewed after the game on Tuesday evening, and he has today talked to the Newcastle press corps:
“The season is far from finished – we are not safe yet and we have to keep fighting until we can say we are.” “We can’t think that the season is over and it is holiday time.”
“That would be a terrible mistake, and we owe it to the fans who are traveling to Blackpool to give them the victory that would make it a great day for them.” “We need to play well and take more points to be safe.”
“Blackpool are fighting against relegation, so it won’t be an easy game.” “Everyone wants to play against the big teams. You never know what can happen if you work hard on the pitch.
“We’re happy with the draw and we’re confident.” “Whether it’s Manchester United or Chelsea, we try to win, but it’s not easy.” “They have a lot of good players.”
“We had a lot of possibilities to score.” “Hopefully, we can take our chances in the next game.” “I tried to shoot, and it was not good.” “Maybe in the next game!” “I will always try to chip in with a goal or two.”
Tiote made his return from suspension against Man U and was straight into the book with another yellow card, but he insists he will not alter his combative style of play. The Ivory Coast international added: “I was not happy to miss two games. Now I’m back, I do my job for the team and the fans.
“We have to think about the next game now.” “It’s a long time – you can’t do anything. If you miss two games, you have to wait.” “You have to be ready. I think I did my job against Manchester United, and now I am thinking about the next game.”
That’s a good attitude from Cheick, and Newcastle have three teams they still have to meet this season – Blackpool, Birmingham and WBA, and if the lads can play decent football in those three games, they should be able to beat all three of the teams.
And Saturday’s opponents, Blackpool, have hardly been playing well of late, and are missing some of their best players through injury, and if Newcastle play anywhere near the way they played on Tuesday night, the lads should be able to take all 3 points.
And that will make Newcastle safe for this season, on 43 points.
It all sounds very good to us.