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The Ivorian midfielder sends out a warning to Sunderland players, saying the Magpies will do everything to ensure the bragging rights remain with Alan Pardew's men

Newcastle's Cheikh Tiote says he and his team-mates are willing to "die on the pitch" to win Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby against rivals Sunderland.

The 25-year-old was seeking to reassure Newcastle fans that the players know how important the game is and that they will give everything they have to beat their bitter rivals for the second time this season.

Tiote told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle: "We have to win every tackle. If we have to die on the pitch to win, we have to die on the pitch. That is what we have to do to win the game.

“If you get a yellow card, you get one. It cannot stop me from playing the game in my style."

Tiote also believes the midfield battle, which will pit him against Sunderland's Lee Cattermole, is important to win if Newcastle are to come out on top.

He added: “The most important part of any team is in the middle of the pitch. If we do everything in that area we can win the game.”

Tiote has been missing from first-team action in recent weeks due to his international commitments, but insists that he is focused on the derby and hungry for victory.

He continued: “I am back and ready. Everybody knows this game is so important for everyone.

“We have to stay focused. We have to think about tomorrow and nothing else. We must do everything to win this game.”

The Ivorian midfielder was a key member of the Newcastle team which took all three points from the Stadium of Light in the reverse fixture earlier this season back in August, with Ryan Taylor the only goalscorer in a 1-0 victory.

However, Sunderland have since had a change of manager and have enjoyed a resurgence under the stewardship of Martin O'Neill, although they will begin the game 10 points behind their local rivals.

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