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Tuesday 03 April 2012

Tiote wants European qualification

Magpies midfielder says this season will be among his best if Newcastle claim Euro spot

Cheick Tiote has been a regular during Newcastle United's successful season

Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote says this season will be among the best of his career - if the Magpies claim European qualification.

The 25-year-old has been a regular during a successful season which has seen Alan Pardew's men in the top six of the Barclays Premier League for most of the campaign.

Sunday's 2-0 victory over Liverpool strengthened Newcastle's grip on sixth place and they are only five behind Arsenal in third spot - and UEFA Champions League qualification - with seven matches to play.

"If we qualify for Europe I will look back on this season as one of the best in my career"
- Cheick Tiote

Ivory Coast international Tiote said Newcastle were aiming for a strong finish to their season.

"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 said.

"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."

Newcastle's next match is a Good Friday trip to Brendan Rodgers' Swansea City.

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Key Points

  • Cheick Tiote wants Newcastle to qualify for European football
  • Midfielder says there is still a chance of reaching the Champions League
  • Newcastle currently sixth after successful Barclays Premier League campaign