Premier League

Tiote issues safety warning

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Mon, 25 Mar 2013 10:48:00

Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking says the club's high expectations are putting unnecessary pressure on both himself and the team.

The Wolves are currently 13th in the table, seven points clear of the relegation zone and the same distance from the top six, yet Hecking believes the level of expectation does not reflect the size of the club.

Although the Wolves won the Bundesliga title in 2009, that was their first major trophy and Hecking believes it should not be used as a marker for future performances.

"The table does not lie," he said. "As coach of Wolfsburg, you are always being confronted with the Champions League or the Europa League, even though Wolfsburg have only achieved that twice in the last 10 years.

"The current situation is different."

Hecking has at least furthered the club's rise from the bottom of the table since taking over from caretaker coach Lorenz-Gunther Kostner, who inherited a side from Felix Magath which was in danger of being relegated.

He arrived from Nurnberg during the winter break and comes up against his former side for the first time at the weekend, although he says there is no ill feeling between him and his former employers.

"Anybody who knows this business understood my motivation," he told Kicker magazine. "The transfer was a clean one and even in Nurnberg, they fully understood me."

The Magpies currently lie 13th in the league table but with a trip to Manchester City on Saturday, the Ivory Coast midfielder has issued a rallying cry to his team-mates.

With only a six-point gap between themselves and the final relegation place - occupied by Wigan - Tiote is keen to clinch league safety sooner rather than later.

Tiote told the Newcastle Chronicle: "I think we have more work to do. You never know what can happen. The Premier League is so, so different to any other league in the world.

"Any team can win four or five games and get out of it. So that's what we will aim to do and then we will be safe."

Tiote's recent antics - totalling in 11 yellow cards and one red - have been toned down after four games without a booking, but the midfielder insists he will not be changing his game.

"That's me. If I change I am not going to be the same player. I just need to keep doing my job. That is the best thing for me," he said.

Currently in his third season for the Magpies after arriving from FC Twente in 2009, Tiote expresses his desire to remain Tyneside.

He said: "I always enjoy playing for Newcastle. Since my first year it has been a great place for me to play.

"And I want it to continue that way for a long time."

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