Report: Tiote facing race against time to be fit for Newcastle opener

Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote will have to work extremely hard to be fit for the club's opening game of the new season against the Saints.

The Chronicle has reported that Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote is playing catch up in terms of his fitness ahead of the new Premier League season.

The paper suggests that Tiote is behind his teammates in terms of general fitness levels having played just 45 minutes since returning to training and action from a knee injury.

Two friendly games to play

The paper claims that Tiote is likely to feature in a friendly game against York City this week and again against German club Borussia Monchengladbach.

That provides him with two match situations to get some minutes under his belt ahead of the more serious and competitive action returning.

That’s significant because it’s two opportunities for the player to play as long as possible and test out his general fitness levels.

No need to take any risks

The most like scenario is that McClaren won’t take any risks and Tiote will start the season playing off of the bench.

That doesn’t mean he won’t be a vital component of Newcastle’s midfield, it’s a move designed to avoid any gambles over the player’s fitness, which could result in keeping him out of action for an extended period of time.

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