Newcastle's Mehdi Abeid keen to fill Cheick Tiote absence

Mehdi Abeid
Abeid made his second Newcastle start in the 2-1 FA Cup victory against Blackburn

Newcastle United midfielder Mehdi Abeid is keen to establish a place in the side with Cheick Tiote absent at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Tiote is away with Ivory Coast until early February at the earliest, leaving a gap in the team for Dan Gosling, Danny Guthrie and Abeid to compete for.

"I hope to have more chances, I need to play," Abeid told BBC Newcastle.

"I hope to do well game after game. If I have more time to play I think I can be better with time."

Abeid added: "I haven't played for one and a half months because I'm always with the first team.

"I can't play for the reserves because they play at the same time."

The former Lens player joined Newcastle in July 2011, but has been restricted to just two starts by the form of compatriot Yohan Cabaye and Tiote - although he is yet to make a Premier League appearance.

Another of the Magpies' French legion keen to impress is Hatem Ben Arfa, who scored a mesmerising solo equaliser in Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup success against Blackburn.

Ben Arfa, 24, has made just six starts this season following an ankle injury, a setback that occurred during pre-season following a long-term recovery from a double leg fracture.

"It's not easy for him, one year after an injury, it's not easy to come back," Abeid continued.

"I'm really happy for him, we have to let him acclimatise.

"He tried to do well every day and with time he will be better. He just needs time to come back."

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