Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote has reiterated his commitment to the club and believes they can qualify for Europe next season.
The 26-year-old struggled with injuries last season and only made 24 league appearances. The club were involved in a relegation battle eventually finishing 16th.
Tiote, who is currently on international duty with the Ivory Coast, believes that Newcastle will have a much better season next year and thinks the club will be challenging for Europe, rather than battling against relegation.
“I have a good opportunity next season – and I will prepare for that after the two international games,” Tiote told the Sunderland Echo.
“The most important thing is to start next season well. Hopefully, it will be a good season. “I think we can again challenge for Europe. I think it will be different to this season. It was really difficult for us.
“We didn’t have a massive squad, and we played in Europe as well as the Premier League."I think next season is going to be much better. I’m just thinking about being ready for next season.”
Tiote has been linked with a move away from St. James Park, the club he signed for three years ago. However, despite Newcastle's disappointing season, the Ivorian expects to be a Newcastle players next campaign.
Speaking while on international duty, Tiote said: “I have a contract with Newcastle. Unless they want to do business with another club, I will be a Newcastle player.”
After such a poor season, many Newcastle fans have been calling for manager Alan Pardew to be dismissed. In September 2012 he signed an eight-year contract extension and the Newcastle hierarchy seem keen to keep him at the helm.
Tiote reveals he's fully behind the manager and thinks that next season will be a different story for the boss and the players.
“When you do well, you are the best manager and the best players,” said Tiote.
“When the team struggles, you are criticised. That’s football. The manager and the players understand this.
“We have to believe in him and stay together. I think he is a very good manager, and I think next season will be different.”
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