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The Ivory Coast star is determined to put the disappointment of the final defeat to Zambia behind him by helping the Magpies to realise their ambitions this season

Newcastle midfielder Cheikh Tiote has admitted to giving away his Africa Cup of Nations losers' medal as he did not want to be reminded of the tournament heartache.

The 25-year-old was a key part of the Ivory Coast team which reached the final in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, only to falter at the last hurdle as they lost 8-7 on penalties to Zambia.

After the hope and expectations of the nation were dashed by the underdogs, Tiote revealed that he did not want to hang on to his runner-up medal so as to put the bitter disappointment behind him.

He told Newcastle’s official website: "All the people there, they love the national team and they love the country, so we are really disappointed because we didn't win the competition.

"I gave my medal to my friend because I was so disappointed. I didn't want to keep that, so I gave it to my friend.

"We did well, but we didn't win it. Maybe next year we will win the competition."

Tiote is now determined to focus his efforts on helping the Magpies finish the season as strongly as possible.

Aside from their recent 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Tottenham, Alan Pardew’s side has been in fine form this season, currently sitting just one point outside the top four.

Former Twente man Tiote spoke of his delight at returning to England and is looking forward to the rest of the campaign, adding: "It has been great to see my friends and to be back in Newcastle.

"Now I have to think about Newcastle, because the tournament with my national team is finished now.

"It's important when you come back from your national team to do more of what you do every time.

"It's important for the fans and the manager to see that we have ambition for the club to do well and to play well for the team.

"I have to do my job for the team and for the fans, and I think we have a possibility to win on Saturday."

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