Cheick Tiote backed to return to his destructive best for Newcastle

The Magpies take on Everton on Monday

Alan Pardew is backing Cheick Tiote to return to his destructive best as he attempts to re-establish Newcastle as a Barclays Premier League force.

The Magpies found themselves engaged in a desperate fight for top-flight survival last season a year after a memorable surge into the top five, which secured an unexpected return to European football.

Continental action provided a fresh challenge for Pardew's men, but took a significant toll on their domestic commitments, and Tiote in particular struggled to reproduce the form which at various points had seen him linked with Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea.

A calf injury has limited Tiote's involvement so far this season, but having appeared as a late substitute in Saturday's disappointing 3-2 home defeat by Hull and started the 2-0 Capital One Cup third-round victory over Leeds on Wednesday, he is ready to begin his campaign in earnest.

Referring to his contribution in midweek, Pardew said: "On transition when we were attacking and we turned over the ball, we were more solid, and Tiote had a lot to do with that.

"He was back to near his best. He was a lot more comfortable in possession than last year. He looks more like himself and I am hoping for a big season from Cheick.

"I didn't think last year went well for Cheick in terms of the player he is, and that coincided with the team.

"When he's at his best, I think we are at our best and defensively on Saturday (against Hull) he could have made a difference.

"He gave us a little lift at Villa when he came on, so the signs are good. He has been unlucky to be out of the team because of injury and he has a chance now to reaffirm the quality he has."

Tiote's absence for much of the season to date has been mitigated to an extent by the form of Dutchman Vurnon Anita, who has quietly gone about establishing himself in the team.

Pardew has taken his time to assimilate the 24-year-old, a £6.7million signing from Ajax during the summer of 2012, into his team, but his emergence this season has given the manger a new and different option.

More of a ball player than a ball winner, he has slotted into a midfield trio along with Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko, and played on Wednesday in a two with the more defensively-minded Tiote.

Pardew said: "He's an economical user of the ball. He does a lot of work, a bit like Tiote, which doesn't always go detected.

"But he has his nose in front of Cheick at the minute, and Cheick will be desperate to address that.

"That's what you want, that's the competition. Vurnon is under pressure to play well because he has Cheick Tiote, one of the best in the last few years in the Premier League, breathing down his neck.

"But it's his economical use of the ball which has been beneficial to us in recent games."

Anita and Tiote are likely to find themselves in direct competition for a place in the starting line-up for Monday night's league trip to Everton.

Pardew rested Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Davide Santon, Cabaye, Sissoko, Hatem Ben Arfa and Loic Remy for the Leeds game and all six are likely to return at Goodison Park.

That means only one of the pair is likely to get the nod and with Anita the man currently in possession, it could be Ivory Coast international Tiote who has to remain patient a little longer.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?