Tiote out to forget friendships
Cheick Tiote has said he will put club friendships on hold this weekend, when he comes face-to-face with Newcastle team-mates Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba for his country.
Tiote will be representing Ivory Coast when they take on Cisse and Ba's Senegal in a 'winner takes all' African Cup Of Nations tie on Saturday - with the 26-year-old keen to get one over on the pair and advance to the African Nations Cup.
"It'll be good to play against them," Tiote said. "I play against them in training but that's not the same as playing against them for their country. It'll be different. But even though they are my friends, I want to beat them!"
As well as feelings of excitement - the former FC Twente midfielder is also fully aware that anything can happen in Dakar, urging his countrymen to guard against complacency.
"It's the second game against Senegal and it's going to be hard because they've got some good players," he added. "It's going to be a tough game but that's football and we'll do everything to win."