Newcastle lash out at squad row reports
Newcastle United have rejected claims made in the media of a dressing room split at the struggling Premier League club.
Following Saturday's humiliating 6-0 home defeat to Liverpool, the Daily Telegraph alleged on-field problems were being compounded by players undermining manager Alan Pardew.
It was also suggested the presence of many French-speaking players was having a negative effect on squad harmony, but managing director Derek Llambias has strongly refuted the speculation.
"The club is determined to turn things around and everyone is working together to secure that goal. (But) it is not helpful when people try and distract the team and the manager with false rumours," he said in a statement.
Newcastle players Papiss Cisse echoed Llambias' summary of the situation, with the striker insisting there is a strong bond among the players and manager at the club.
"Every player is together," he said.
"We are totally focused on Saturday's game at West Ham and the two games after that.
"We have a strong bond and we want the best for our club, our manager and our wonderful fans. We are not happy about recent results.
"Nobody is happy when they lose, but this has only made us stronger as a group and we will come through this together. There is no divide in the team."
Midfielder Cheikh Tiote added: "We want to let the fans know that all of the players are committed and we are in this together. We will fight to get out of this problem and we know our fans will help us to do that. They are incredible."
Newcastle demanded the Daily Telegraph remove the story from their online pages and commission an apology or face a ban from all matches and media opportunities, but the newspaper rejected the demands.
The newspaper's statement read: "We regret the club's decision to ban the Telegraph from attending matches and press conferences, but will not allow it to prevent us providing the most incisive, trustworthy Newcastle coverage, rather than pandering to what the club want you to read."