Cheick Tiote has welcomed increased midfield competition at Newcastle United.

Tioté is facing pressure to keep his place in the team, with Vurnon Anita ready to step in if the Ivorian doesn't maintain his performance level.

"I think my form is better. It was good for me to go to Africa," he said.

"I need sometimes to go back to Africa to get my form back: now I feel good, I feel better and I want to continue like this."