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Derby dismissal won't change me, says Cheick Tiote

CHEICK Tioté has issued an apology for "costing" Newcastle United a Wear-Tyne derby win last month - but insists he won't change his combative style to beat the prospect of more bans.

Cheick Tiote

CHEICK Tioté has issued an apology for "costing" Newcastle United a Wear-Tyne derby win last month - but insists he won't change his combative style to beat the prospect of more bans.

Tioté has one of the worst disciplinary records in the Premier League and is two games into a three-match domestic suspension which has caused headaches for Alan Pardew.

The boss has warned his Ivorian midfielder he needs to avoid needless bookings, but while Tioté is adamant he will clean up his act he won’t do it at the expense of the all-action style which has made him one of the most effective players in the top flight.

Tioté is all set to start for United in their Europa League clash with Club Brugge tonight, with Newcastle fully aware a win is likely to seal their progress into the knockout stages.

His recall coincided with his first interview since a red card at Sunderland left him heartbroken and blaming himself for Newcastle failing to pick up all three points at the Stadium of Light.

Tioté told The Journal: “I have to forget about the sending-off in the derby.

“Of course it hurt, but it’s over, it’s finished and I have to concentrate on how I can help the team.

“It has been difficult to forget about it and to move on. It’s hard but I think I will be okay.

“I am very sorry for the sending-off and I want to put performances in for the supporters. If we had finished the game with 11 players then we would have won the derby.

“I didn’t need the manager to talk to me about my disciplinary record after that because I know I have picked up too many yellow cards.

“I know I have to be careful but it is my style and I cannot change my style.

“I need to be a lot more careful over some of the bookings that I pick up, but I will not change my style of play.

“It will get better – I know it will get better.”

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Tioté’s unfortunate suspension is typical of the problems Newcastle have had this season with getting their best players on to the pitch at key moments.

Tonight will be only the second time this season Tioté and Fabricio Coloccini have started a game together – hardly ideal given their obvious importance to the black-and-white cause.

Newcastle will be thankful for the chance to play both in Belgium, and Tioté admits that is good for him to hone match sharpness during his ban, which has been difficult. He added: “It is very good for me we are in the Europa League because it gives me a chance to play games.

“I will not be out for long. I am not good at watching games, I do not like to do that. I want to be playing.”

United can take a huge step towards the final stages of the Europa League with a victory and Tioté believes Newcastle, who have been playing a mixture of youth and experience in the competition this season, can make a serious impact in the road towards Amsterdam.

The Ivorian is predicting United will make it all the way to the final, despite the spectre of Champions League clubs who finished third in their groups dropping into the competition at the next round.

He said: “We are first in the group now and that is really good for this team.

“That is what we expected and that is what happened, but now we have to qualify.

“We want to win every game in this competition and I think we can get to the final.”

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