Rafa Benitez reveals why he turned to Alan Pardew’s old guard at Newcastle

Cheick Tiote.
Cheick Tiote.

Rafa Benitez has revealed why he turned to out-of-favour pair Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote in Newcaslte United’s hour of need.

Cisse and Tiote were recalled to the starting XI by Benitez when they returned to fitness.

I was really pleased with the way that they were working, trying to be fit and trying to impress me.

Rafa Benitez

And they are expected to face former manager Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace side at St James’s Park this afternoon.

Cisse and Tiote had been influential players when Newcastle, under Pardew, finished fifth in the Premier League in 2010-11.

“I was really pleased with the way that they were working, trying to be fit and trying to impress me,” said Benitez.

“Then I knew that they were very good players, because I was watching a lot of games before, and a lot of people here they were telling me that they were good players.

“They needed confidence, and when they were fit I gave them confidence. They gave me everything.”