CHEIK Tiote dreamed of playing at Anfield as a budding footballer growing up in poverty-stricken Ivory Coast.
And the midfielder’s relishing turning that dream into reality when Newcastle United take on Liverpool tomorrow in a televised clash (kick-off noon).
Tiote and his team-mates have been written off by the bookmakers ahead of the game, with United 7/1 outsiders to claim their first league win at the stadium since 1994.
But Tiote is convinced Newcastle – who went into the weekend lying 11th in the Premier League – can upset the odds on Merseyside and break back into the top half of the division.
“It’s another big game, but we’re ready for the Liverpool game,” Tiote said.
“Like against Manchester United and Blackpool, it won’t be easy, and we have to stay focused on doing well in this game.
“We can be confident, because we have a good shape in the team and are having a good period. I hope we get a good result.
“The most important thing is to stay together and work together as a team.”
Tiote – who has been a revelation this season for Newcastle after his move from FC Twente last summer – has talked about his tough upbringing in West Africa.
Running out at England’s famous stadia is something Tiote could only dream of when he was playing barefoot in Abijan and the Ivory Coast international is determined not to waste a moment of his career.
Tiote added: “Liverpool is a big club, and everyone wants to play against them.
“Anfield’s a great stadium, and I’ve never played there. It’s my first time at Anfield, and I want to do my best to show the people my quality.”
Meanwhile, former United striker Andy Carroll is still a doubt for Liverpool with a knee injury.
Tiote added: “Andy Carroll is a good friend of all the team, and we will be happy to see him play if he is fit. He’s a good footballer.”