McClaren: Cheick Tiote is not disrupting Newcastle’s dressing room

Cheick Tiote

Steve McClaren has played down criticism concerning Cheick Tiote’s attitude at Newcastle.

Tiote has been under scrutiny in recent weeks for his supposed ‘poisoning’ of the Newcastle dressing room, but Steve McClaren spoke to the Chronicle to dismiss such claims and explain why the midfielder is currently unhappy.

McClaren said: “Cheicky couldn’t cause trouble anywhere. He is frustrated that he’s injured and he’s not playing. In terms of causing disruption? By no means, he just wants to get fit. I have heard the stories and I just laughed because I know him very well.”

McClaren was responding to claims made by John Richardson, the Express writer quoted in the Chronicle as saying Tiote is one of a number of ‘bad eggs’ at St James’ Park, who are actively damaging the Tyneside club.

However, the head coach does not believe this is the case, with Tiote only frustrated and unhappy as he has been struck down by injury, with the 29-year-old midfielder making just three appearances in all competitions this term.

Tiote, who has made 134 appearances for the Magpies, has hardly endeared himself to Newcastle fans in recent seasons, by making it clear he would prefer a move elsewhere.

However, on his day he has the potential to be one of the best midfielders in the Premier League, and if McClaren is telling the truth, it may be that he can get the best out of the 29-year-old as the season progresses.

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