When Cheick Tiote was out at the African Cup of Nations for over five weeks, it’s hardly surprising that he would talk often to his Premier League colleagues Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou of Chelsea.
Cheick Tiote in action in the final against Zambia
The Ivory Coast came within a whisker of winning the tournament for a second time, when the final went to penalties, although they lost it at the death 8-7, and that gave a very first win to Zambia.
And it seems that Cheick thinks the Magpies will finish above Chelsea in the Premier League this season – oh really – as he had this to say to the Daily Mail:
“We discussed it. I told Salomon we’ll finish fourth, and Chelsea will finish seventh and he said ‘ok then, we’ll see.”
“I suppose it shows the confidence I have in our team that I said it to him. If we keep working hard, everything’s possible and we can go for fourth. I think we’ve got a good chance.”
“We’re a point behind Chelsea and Arsenal and we have everyone back in the squad, Demba’s back and if we keep playing like we can I think we can stay in the top four.”
“This team isn’t just about two or three players, it’s about the whole squad. It doesn’t matter if one or two of those are missing, it’s down to the team to come through that.”
Good team words from the Ivory Coast International, who was one of their best players at the African Cup of Nations, and he was very happy to rejoin his colleagues last Monday on Tyneside.
Newcastle are on 42 points after 25 games which is just a single point behind Chelsea, and both sides have home games today with teams in the bottom three in the league.
Chelsea take on Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle play Wolves and both games kick off at 3:00 pm, and the betting suggests it should be two home wins, but of course you never know in the Premier League, especially this season.
But this could be one of the most important run-ins to the season for quite a while for Newcastle, and they have a genuine chance of completely exceeding expectations this season, and finishing in the top six.
Top four would be great but we were smashed in our last game at Tottenham, so the lads have to show us today that they are indeed a good team, and last time out was only a blip.
We hope they will be successful in doing that this afternoon.