NEWCASTLE United’s Cheik Tiote has been backed to clean up his act next season.
The midfielder is expected to be left out of the club’s last two games after picking up his 14th booking of the season against Birmingham City.
Another yellow would mean an automatic three-game ban for Tiote, pictured, which would carry over to next season.
Manager Alan Pardew hasn’t yet taken a decision on the 24-year-old’s participation against Chelsea on Sunday and in the final home game against West Bromwich Albion on May 22.
But the odds are seemingly against him featuring in either fixture, such will be his importance to the cause next term, when Newcastle will hope to hit the ground running early in the campaign.
“Obviously, it wouldn’t be a good way to start the season, but no decision’s been made yet,” said assistant manager John Carver.
“The manager will make that decision in the next few days.”
Robbie Savage is the only other player to have been booked as many times in one Premier League season.
However, Carver is confident the tough-tackling player, frustratingly shown a yellow card in injury-time by referee Chris Foy in the 2-1 win over Birmingham, will be older and wiser in his second campaign in English football.
“It was a real shame for Cheik, because he never looked like he was going to be booked against Birmingham,” Carver went on.
“It was harsh, but he is starting to get wiser. I spoke to him before the game about the bookings, and told him to be careful because we don’t want him suspended.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. Maybe it was lost in translation!”
Meanwhile, midfielder Alan Smith – who has been out since January after suffering a serious ankle injury – could be on the bench at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Striker Leon Best (ankle) also has a chance of making a comeback this season.