Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote assure Newcastle fans the players are united and committed in face of relegation

Two heavy defeats have put the Magpies in the relegation mix

Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse and midfielder Cheick Tiote have assured fans the players remain united and fully committed to the task of avoiding relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

Responding on the club's website to reports of disharmony among the squad following two thumping home defeats last month - 3-0 against local rivals Sunderland and then 6-0 at the hands of Liverpool - Cisse acknowledged the players were hurting but insisted they had a "strong bond".

He said on http://www.nufc.co.uk: "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."

Tiote added: "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."

Magpies managing director Derek Llambias also hit out at "false rumours" of a rift within the dressing room.

"The club is determined to turn things around and everyone is working together to secure that goal," he said. "It is not helpful when people try and distract the team and the manager with false rumours."

Alan Pardew's side, who sit five points above the relegation zone but have played a game more than 18th-placed Wigan, travel to West Ham on Saturday before visiting QPR the following weekend and then finishing the season at home to Arsenal.

PA

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