Newcastle United’s Tiote wants boost in Rangers clash

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CHEIK Tiote is determined to add to Rangers’ troubles by winning tonight’s Ibrox friendly – to boost confidence for their daunting Premier League opener.

Rangers are in turmoil off the field, with chairman, and former manager, Walter Smith quitting yesterday and leaving the board amid a bitter struggle for power at Ibrox.

Newcastle midfielder Tiote said: “We have to try to win the Rangers game.

“It’s good for us to win every game and get more confidence for the season.

“It’s not going to be easy at Manchester City. We need to go there with good confidence.”

Boss Alan Pardew is expected to name his strongest team yet at Ibrox, with the August 19 Premier League opener at Manchester City just 13 days away.

Meanwhile, Tiote says unity can be Newcastle’s strength this term.

“Last season we didn’t play together,” confessed the 27-year-old. “That was a big mistake for the team. Now we know what we have to do.

“I think if we do the right things, we will be OK. It’s very important for everyone to stay together and work hard.

“If you do that, you can beat any team. We did that two years ago.”

Tiote, embarking on his his fourth season at Newcastle, struggled for form and fitness last term, and he’s determined to rediscover the form of his first two campaigns on Tyneside.

“I feel good, and I’m in good form,” said the Ivory Coast international.

“I hope I’m not going to be injured. I want to play a lot of games before the start, and have a good season.”