Mehdi Abeid ready to step up in Tiote’s absence for Newcastle

CLOSE ... Mehdi Abeid.
CLOSE ... Mehdi Abeid.

MEHDI Abeid’s ready to step up in the absence of Cheik Tiote – and get Newcastle United back to winning ways.

Tiote is sidelined with a knee injury suffered at the African Cup of Nations.

And there are fears the midfielder – who struggled for form in the first half of the season – could miss the rest of the campaign.

Abeid, fit again after recovering from a broken toe, has come off the bench in the club’s last three fixtures.

The midfielder – who ably deputised for Tiote earlier in the season – is now pushing for a return to the starting XI ahead of Saturday’s game against Premier League champions Manchester City.

Abeid helped the club to a Capital One Cup victory at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season.

But injury-hit Newcastle are 12/1 outsiders to repeat that feat in the league.

“We have a good team and a lot of quality in the team – now we have to show it every week,” Abeid told the Gazette.

“Hopefully, we will have many, many more wins in the future.”

Abeid is enjoying working under John Carver, Alan Pardew’s immediate successor, and he insists the 50-year-old, his staff and the players are all pulling together.

“It’s good to have John as the head coach,” said the Algeria international, who missed the African Cup of Nations because of his toe injury.

“There’s a good relationship between him, the coaches and the players.

“It’s great for the future of our team.”

Abeid is keen to put his African Cup of Nations disappointment behind him.

The technically-gifted player, signed from Lens in the summer of 2011, made an abortive comeback from injury in early December.

Abeid then spent another two months out before making a return in the club’s win over Hull City late last month.

“I’m really glad to be back – it was a bad injury,” said Abeid. “I’m enjoying my time on the pitch.”

Twitter @milesstarforth