Newcastle star prioritises European qualification

Newcastle midfielder Cheik Tiote has stated that qualification for Europe is the most important thing for his side this season.

Alan Pardew’s men have exceeded expectations this term, and are in sixth place in the Premier League with seven games remaining.

The Ivory Coast international has admitted that playing in the Europa League would be a great achievement for the Sports Direct Arena club, but is not ruling out a top four finish just yet either.

“Getting into Europe is the biggest thing for us now and it is very important for us as players and for Newcastle as a club,” Tiote told The Telegraph.

“There has been a long time where we have not seen Newcastle in European competitions and we want that to change. It will be a big thing for us to play in Europe next season.

“The first target is obviously the Europa League, but why shouldn’t we be thinking about the Champions League as well? Who knows, it could happen.

“We have got ourselves into a good position, but any talk about Europe will mean nothing if we don’t keep winning between now and the end of the season. If we qualify for Europe, I will look back on this season as one of the best in my career,” the African enforcer confessed.

By Gareth McKnight