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.