Tiote backs Newcastle to improve after ‘difficult’ season

The Ivory Coast international admits his side disappointed last time out after struggling at the wrong end of the table but is confident they can push on in the 2013-14 campaign
Newcastle midfielder Chiekh Tiote is backing the club to bounce back after a "difficult season" that saw the Magpies flirt with relegation.

Alan Pardew’s men ultimately finished the season in 16th place just five points off the relegation zone, a disappointment following their fifth-placed finish in 2011-12.

10/1 Newcastle are 10/1 with Paddy Power to be relegated
The close season has seen more upheaval with Joe Kinnear appointed as director of football, with the 66-year-old angering fans after an error-strewn radio interview.

However, Tiote is looking forward to the season ahead and is backing his team to improve after some time away from the game.

"Last season was not the best for Newcastle," he told the club’s official website.

"It was a hard season in the Europa League and the Premier League but we've had some time off to rest now.

"It was really difficult for all the team but when you see the season, the most important thing was just to stay in the Premier League.

"That's what we did and now we need to prepare and be ready for the next season.

"When we look at last season, we cannot imagine to have the same season as this next year so I think it will be better."