Tiote hails 'important' Newcastle victory over QPR

The Ivorian midfielder believes his side's scrappy win over the struggling London outfit was due to good team focus and leaves confidence high ahead of the festive period
Newcastle midfielder Cheikh Tiote believes his side can use their late win over QPR as a spring board to move away from their recent troubles and the relegation zone, beginning with their Boxing Day trip to face Manchester United.

The Magpies had collected only one win from their last eight league outings to leave themselves two points above the drop zone going into their clash with second-bottom QPR on Saturday. However, they moved up to 14th position thanks to Shola Ameobi's late winner at St James' Park.

"Everyone was, not nervous but focused on the game and everyone did their job," the Ivory Coast international told reporters.

"That's why we got the three points. The confidence will be higher now, and for the next game against Manchester United that's important.

"I think it was a good performance from everyone today. We knew what we had to do going into the game because of the results in the last two matches.

"This game was an important one because we have two big games against Man United and Arsenal so today it was important to win and that's what we did, so everyone's happy. We played well as a team and we won the game."

Tiote, however, will miss the trip to the current Premier League leaders after picking up a suspension for accumulating five yellow cards so far this season following a caution midway through the second period.

"It's hard [to miss match], but that's football," Tiote observed.

"We've got good players in the squad and if I'm not playing then other players will take the chance to prove to the manager that they're good players. Everything is about the team."