AN aggrieved Cheik Tiote wants to use the memory of his disallowed goal against Manchester City to drive Newcastle United back up the Premier League table after beginning the New Year with a losing streak.
The Ivorian’s misfortune at St James’ Park on Sunday when his stunning 22-yard volley was ruled out for a harsh offside decision prevented the Magpies from levelling before half-time against City.
Despite an enterprising attacking performance, Newcastle went on to lose 2-0 which meant a fourth consecutive reversal and the third since the turn of the year.
The mini-slump has seen Newcastle drop down to eighth in the Premier League, eight points adrift of fifth spot, and provided Alan Pardew’s team with an uphill task to make a return to European competition next season.
Newcastle must travel to West Ham United this Saturday knowing Sam Allardyce’s men are desperate to build on their weekend success at Cardiff to enhance chances of avoiding relegation this season.
Tiote does not necessarily blame referee Mike Jones for controversially deeming that Yoan Gouffran was interfering when the shot flew towards the net, but is determined not to dwell on his frustration.
The 27-year-old midfielder said: “I didn’t see the goal properly at the time, but Gouff was not in Joe Hart’s sight when it flew in. He was not active because he was not standing in front of the goalkeeper. “I sympathise with the referee because it is a difficult decision to make and the rules do not help. It was going so fast, so quick. The referee was the only man on the pitch who could decide that. We need to accept that. There’s no point going over it and over it. It didn’t count and we must move on.
“We have a really tough game next because West Ham need to win to help their position near the bottom of the Premier League. But it’s also important for us after losing a few games. We have slipped down the table a bit after our good run. We need to get back on the winning track.”
Tiote’s powerful strike and run towards the Newcastle dug-out to celebrate will be one of the lasting memories of the season on Tyneside – even though it never counted.
The former Twente player thought he had ended a near-three year wait for a Newcastle goal. Ironically his last one arrived in similar circumstances in February 2011, when he scored a stunning equaliser in the 4-4 draw with Arsenal and Nile Ranger occupied a position like Gouffran in the Gunners box.
“It was one of my great goals, I don’t score too many!” said Tiote. “For a goal like this not to be accepted is sad. That’s football and I can’t think about it for too long. The decision changed the game. Before the goal we were starting to play well, we pushed them and if the goal had been given it would have been a different game.
“I would have loved it to count, of course. The fans are not used to seeing me score, so it would have been nice. I chose to celebrate with JC (John Carver). He always tells me that I never score.
“Every game I say I will try to shoot, but he says ‘no, no, you need to pass the ball’. I went straight for him to let him join in. When I heard it had not counted it was sad.”
Newcastle are fortunate to have French defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa available for this Saturday’s trip to West Ham, knowing right-back Mathieu Debuchy will serve the final match of a three-match suspension.
Yanga-Mbiwa could easily have been red carded for his horrible second half tackle on Manchester City’s Samir Nasri. The France international has been ruled out for eight weeks with the knee injury.
Nasri’s father, Hamid, said: “Yanga-Mbiwa did it nastily. It’s awful. Like the two blades of a razor, the first one cuts and the second one chops. You can’t attack a player, it’s his work too.”
Behind the scenes at St James’ Park transfer activity has stepped up in the last week and Pardew has not ruled out a new arrival before the West Ham game.
Dutch striker Luuk De Jong has suggested he is ready to move to Tyneside from Borussia Monchengladbach and an initial loan move looks on the cards.
There have also been extensive talks between Newcastle and a Qatar club centred on the transfer of Papiss Cisse but there has not been a breakthrough over a fee for the Senegal striker.
Cisse is not desperate to leave and wants to prove himself in the North-East after a stuttering campaign and Newcastle are not keen on selling him for less than the £9m they paid for him two years ago from Freiburg.