Rafael Benitez praises Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote

Newcastle United have picked up four points from their last two matches.

Rafael Benitez has told the Guardian that Cheick Tiote is doing a great job at Newcastle United.

Tiote has come back into Newcastle’s team recently, with Jonjo Shelvey dropping out of the starting line-up.

The Ivorian helped Newcastle pick up three points against Swansea City last weekend, and he then put in a man of the match performance against Manchester City yesterday, as Newcastle picked up a 1-1 draw.

And Benitez said: “I’m really pleased with Cheik, he’s doing a great job.”

Tiote has generally found first-team chances hard to come by this season, but he appears to have established his place in the Tynesiders' starting line-up for the run-in. 

Aside from his mention of Tiote, Benitez typically chose not to single out individual performances after Newcastle managed to pick up a draw with City yesterday.

The Magpies were considered major outsiders going into the fixture, but they put in an excellent battling display.

Newcastle went behind when Sergio Aguero headed in from a set-piece, but they struck back through Vurnon Anita to ensure that they claimed a point.

Newcastle now are just two points adrift of safety, with their survival chances looking much stronger. The Magpies’ next fixture comes against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch