Pardew looking forward to seeing 'lion' Tiote tear into Liverpool
23:46 GMT, 30 March 2012
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew can’t wait to unleash Cheik Tiote back on the Barclays Premier League.
The Ivory Coast midfielder has missed Newcastle’s last two games with a hip problem but like Ryan Taylor looks certain to return against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
The former FC Twente destroyer, who has become a major player for Newcastle, was back to snapping at his team-mates in training on Friday. And Pardew is ready to let him loose on Kenny Dalglish’s men.
Return: Cheik Tiote (right) is back in training
Pardew said 'He is the lion of our team and like any lion who has been down in the dumps he came back this morning and let everyone know he’s back, let out a few roars, had a couple of scuffles.
'We are better for it. Not everyone was pleased to see him back but as the coaching staff, we smiled, and he managed not to kill anyone so we are ok.'
Tiote is not the only familiar face returning to St James’s Park on Sunday.
Pardew and Newcastle supporters will also have a warm welcome for former players Andy Carroll and Jose Enrique who quit the club in the last 16 months.
They brought in close to a combined 50million to the club and although Pardew may have preferred to keep them at the time, Newcastle have invested their money wisely to create a team ahead of Liverpool in the Premier League table.
Strong: Jose Enrique moved to Liverpool from Newcastle, and has been one of their better players since the switch
Pardew added: 'We wouldn’t have had the success we’ve had with new players unless they had adjusted really well to this football club.
'A lot of work was done last year in making sure we get the balance and conditions right. And I think when you get that right, it makes them easier to settle.
'I had to drive out the gate with fans bombarding me with questions about why we were selling Andy Carroll. We were vulnerable because at the time we weren’t safe in the Premier League and we had to fight tooth and nail to get ourselves out of it.
'When a player looks you in the eye and says he wants to go like Andy did, and the fee was what it was, there is no going back when he did that.
'Jose was different. I had many conversations with him and we couldn’t even get down to finance with Jose. The scars of the previous regime were deep and he definitely wanted to go.
'Maybe Jose felt it was all falling apart but sometimes there is a bigger picture. Sometimes the players can’t see that. Jose couldn’t see it.’