Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has welcomed a feisty Cheick Tiote back to training.

The Ivory Coast international is back prematurely from the Africa Cup of Nations and manager Pardew is ready to throw him straight into Newcastle's new-look team at Spurs.

He said: "Cheick has trained today (Thursday) and reminded a few that he has been missing.

"Stoney (coach Steve Stone) had to join in because we did not have enough bodies and he had to keep our of the way of Cheick a few times, trust me.

"It is brilliant to have him back. I still think he is one of our best players. This year has been difficult for him to build on last year career-wise but he is certainly one of our top three players and hopefully, he can get back to that level he was at when he was absolutely phenomenal last year"