Steve McClaren pleased with Cheick Tiote's performance for Newcastle United against Arsenal

Newcastle United were beaten 1-0 by Arsenal in their most recent outing.

Steve McClaren has told the Chronicle that he thought Cheick Tiote was very good against Arsenal, in Newcastle United’s most recent match.

Tiote picked up a groin injury in November, and was forced to miss out on a sizeable chunk of the season.

However, he made his return in the Magpies’ 1-0 defeat against Arsenal, and McClaren was impressed by his display.

“He [Tiote] was very good [against Arsenal]. He’s been itching to get back and we’ve missed him,” McClaren said.

“He’s been injured, and he was terrific in the spell where we were going well.

“He got injured and we had two bad games, but he’s coming back.

“I thought they were all excellent in midfield.

“I thought it was a great team performance, and we need to do the same again next week and the week after that.”

Tiote remains an important player for Newcastle, and McClaren appears to consider him an integral part of his starting line up.

The former England manager has regularly selected the 29-year-old when he has been fit, but speculation still exists over his future.

The Chronicle suggests that a host of clubs are looking at Tiote, but Newcastle are keen not to lose him in this transfer window, as McClaren feels he could be vital in their survival bid.

Newcastle are currently two points away from safety, and they sit in 18th spot in the Premier League table.

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