Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren insists he does not have troublemakers in the dressing room despite talk of unrest at the club.
McClaren was the man that the board hoped would help to bring stability back to St James’ Park after last season’s fiasco but his arrival has failed to spark the players into life.
They have lost four and drawn two top-flight games to date but it is off-field matters that have been dominating the headlines in recent times, with reports that both Cheick Tiote and Papiss Cisse are a negative influence around the club.
But McClaren has been quick to deny the allegations and insists he has no issues with either of the African stars.
“There’s been no problem with Cheick,” he said. “He’s not a bad egg at all. I know Cheick well – I obviously had him at (FC) Twente – and he’s no trouble. He doesn’t cause trouble, he just wants to play.
“Papiss is Papiss, and he goes around with a smile on his face. That’s the culture that he’s got. I don’t agree with that view at all.”
Newcastle will have a chance to put a smile back on their fans’ faces tonight as they entertain Sheffield Wednesday in the third round of the Capital One Cup and are priced at 1.80 to down the Owls, with the Yorkshire club on offer at 4.50.