Belfast Telegraph

Tiote: Strike gives me confidence

Cheick Tiote has vowed to carry on shooting after being denied one of the best goals of his career by referee Mike Jones.

The 27-year-old Ivory Coast international has never been afraid to go for goal since his arrival at St James' Park from FC Twente in August 2010, although often fails to trouble the target by some distance.

However, during Sunday afternoon's 2-0 Barclays Premier League defeat by Manchester City, he rekindled memories of his only other goal for the Magpies, a superb volley to snatch a 4-4 draw with Arsenal in February 2011, when he blasted an unstoppable shot past keeper Joe Hart to drag - or so he thought - his side back into the game.

Mr Jones' controversial intervention ruined Tiote's day, but it will not prevent him from trying to replicate his strike during the weeks and months ahead.

He said: "It gives me more confidence because I know I have got a hard shot, but sometimes it doesn't go in the right direction. But today was the one in the right direction.

"For me, I scored my second goal for Newcastle. The referee didn't give the goal, but for me, it was a goal. I think it was one of the best goals (of my career) after Arsenal."

Tiote was aghast to discover his 34th-minute missile had been chalked off after Mr Jones ruled that team-mate Yoan Gouffran had interfered with Hart's sight-line from an offside position, although television replays have suggested the official's interpretation of the rules was harsh at best.

There was no doubt in the mind of the Newcastle man as he raced off to share his joy with assistant manager John Carver, and he later revealed just why he had sought out Alan Pardew's number two.

Tiote said: "I was celebrating with JC because every game when I try to shoot, he tells me, 'You will never score, you will never score', so when I scored, I just thought about him.

"I ran to the bench to tell him, 'Today, I scored' and that it was for him.

"When I turned back, I saw the referee was in discussion with the assistant referee and after that, he made the decision.

"I was disappointed, but that's football. The referee is the only one who can decide on the pitch."

Tiote's big moment came with City leading 1-0 courtesy of Edin Dzeko's eighth-minute strike as Newcastle responded to an early onslaught.

The referee's decision served to increase the intensity within the stadium, and it all became too much for Pardew, whose touchline spat with opposite number Manuel Pellegrini made for a series if unpalatable back-page headlines, while defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa was perhaps fortunate to escape with just a yellow card after a challenge which left Samir Nasri with a knee injury.

On the field, the Magpies forced the visitors on to the back foot as their sense of injustice inspired a concerted quest for an equaliser with Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy both forcing good saves from Hart.

However, City took advantage of the space they left behind to mount a series of lightning counter-attacks and after Fernandinho had headed against the bar, Alvaro Negredo struck deep into injury time, albeit with the benefit of a fortuitous rebound, to wrap up the points.

The Magpies have now lost their last four games, three of them in the league, and their hopes of mounting an assault on the top five have suffered a setback.

But Tiote is confident they can take the positives into Saturday's trip to relegation-threatened West Ham and get their season back on track.

He said: "Everyone is happy with the performance because we played well. It's not easy to play against teams like Manchester City because they are the top team in the league, but today, we played well.

"We were compact as a team and we showed them we are a good side. We will just take the positives from the game and think about the next game on Saturday.

"We just have to stay together because now we have lost too many games, but we are proud of how we played today and we need to continue like that.

"We need to make sure we win the game on Saturday."


From Belfast Telegraph