Cheick Tiote was a surprise name in the starting eleven for Newcastle against West Brom.
Steve McClaren admitted that with the midfielder’s on off transfer to Shanghai Shenhua and the player travelling to China amongst other places, he has hardly trained in recent weeks.
Despite this, recent signing Henri Saivet was left on the bench and Cheick Tiote came back in.
He gave a very good performance and Steve McClaren was full of praise for the Ivory Coast midfielder.
The United boss finding it incredible that a long range Cheick Tiote shot was disallowed just before Newcastle actually did score the winner through Mitrovic.
The details were incredibly similar to the chalked off effort v Manchester City, the referee initially giving the goal, only to then seemingly change his mind due to the West Brom players pointing out that Mitrovic was in an offside position, with claims he was interfering.
As for the player’s long term future McClaren made clear what he wants to say happen. Asked if on the basis of today’s display Cheick Tiote was better off at Newcastle than in China, McClaren responded; “Cheick Tiote has always been better here than in China.”
It remains to be seen if he is still sold, with the transfer window in China still open.
“I’ve got to say, the game shouldn’t have been close at the end – to have those last five or 10 minutes as we did. We should have put the ball away for 2-0, some great attacking play and atmosphere.
“I can’t believe he has disallowed that (Cheick Tiote) goal, I saw it at the time and briefly afterwards and it is a goal, I don’t know what that rule is, interfering (Mitrovic).
“A lot of players came in today like Rolando (Aarons) and Stevie Taylor, who I thought was immense. Cheick Tiote as well, who hasn’t trained for a few weeks, having been here, there and everywhere the last few weeks, including China.
“There aren’t many home games where we haven’t performed and played like that, the games might be open but they are great spectacles to watch.
“Away from home we need to sort that and be stronger and play the same kind of football – and be harder to beat.”
‘You mention Cheick Tiote, he has been to China and he’s now back, on the performance today is he better here than in China as far as you’re concerned?’
“Cheick Tiote has always been better here than in China, he has come back with a smile on his face and made a big difference today.”
(Read what Tony Pulis had to say about the match HERE)