CHEIK Tiote has been warned he must clean up his act – or risk becoming a ‘liability’ to Newcastle United, writes ROSS GREGORY.
Tiote is set to return to the Magpies’ team for Saturday’s home clash against Swansea City after serving a three-match ban for his red card against Sunderland.
The midfield enforcer has been a big miss in the Premier League, especially in Sunday’s St James’s Park defeat to West Ham.
And assistant manager John Carver has urged Tiote to exercise some “control” when he heads into challenges, or he’ll end up letting his team-mates down again.
“It’ll be a boost to have him back because of the way he is,” said Carver. “But he’s got to control himself.
“Even if he has got a reputation, or referees do pick on him, he’s got to control himself in the manner where he’s not a liability to the team. We don’t want to lose him again.”
Tiote’s dismissal against Sunderland for a late lunge on Steven Fletcher arguably cost Newcastle victory. The Magpies were one up and looked in command, and even playing with 10 men they just failed to hold on for all three points.
This season, in his nine appearances, Tiote has been booked six times, plus the derby dismissal.
The Ivory Coast star picked up 11 yellow cards last term, following 14 in 2010/11 and a red in the FA Cup loss to Stevenage.
It adds up to a record of 31 bookings and two sendings-off in 61 games for the Magpies, and Carver admits that it is now up to the player to clean up his act.
“He’s learned his lesson,” insisted Carver.
“His record is not great, and we keep talking to him about it.
“It’s no good talking anymore, it’s now down to him to go out and do it himself. We can only put so many conditions on him in training. Now he has to go out and show us when the muck and bullets are flying.”
H Yohan Cabaye is a fitness doubt for Newcastle ahead of Swansea’s visit this weekend.
The midfielder pulled out of France’s friendly against Italy last night with a groin injury.
Meanwhile, Newcastle winger Hatem Ben Arfa – for his mazy run and strike against Blackburn in January’s FA Cup tie – has been nominated for Fifa’s Puskas Award which recognises the best goal of the year.
H Newcastle have been linked with a £12million move for highly-rated Marseille striker Loic Remy, with midfielder Sylvain Marveaux moving in the opposite direction.