Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren insists there is no trouble in his dressing room as his team look to turn their season around.
McClaren’s men, who host Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup on Wednesday, are winless in six Premier League games this season.
The Englishman’s dressing room has been questioned, with suggestions injured midfielder Cheick Tiote was causing problems.
McClaren denied that was the case, defending Tiote and striker Papiss Cisse.
“There’s been no problem with Cheick. He’s not a bad egg at all,” he said.
“I know Cheick well, I obviously had him at 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.
“We haven’t seen enough of Cheick. He hasn’t been right. He hasn’t been able to build up his fitness, but I know Cheick well and I couldn’t be any stronger in terms of saying that he’s not any trouble.
“He’s no bad egg – he just wants to play football. But he’s not been able to do that, so he’s frustrated. He’s definitely not been feigning injury.”
After their poor start to the season, McClaren is likely to need to strengthen his squad when the transfer window opens in January.
The 54-year-old said he was yet to even begin thinking about 2016.
“We can’t do anything at the moment, so the pure focus is on getting this team performing and getting results,” McClaren said.
“You mention January, but I’m not even thinking about that window, because we’ve got too many games in between.”