Former Toon Star Makes Happy Return To North-East!

Last updated : 26 January 2009 By Footy Mad - Editor

A win for Hartlepool would have set them up with a home tie against near neighbours Middlesbrough.

The 28-year-old left Newcastle in July 2007 and he was given a hostile reception at both St James' Park and the Stadium of Light this season.

"I've been back up here a couple of times now playing at Newcastle and Sunderland and that's great because it's a good part of the world.

"I got booed at both grounds so it was quite a relief when I didn't get booed here at Hartlepool.

"I wouldn't say I was glad to be out of Newcastle.

"Every time people speak to me about my reasons for leaving Newcastle to come down to London I tell them that it wasn't the case that I wasn't happy in the North- East. My family was settled in Newcastle and both my wife and I loved the place.

"Newcastle is always one of those clubs that will have speculation around it. It deserves more success but it's going to take time. That's the key thing. But on the other hand people are going to say how long do you have to wait, and they have waited a long while now.

 "We came here expecting a tough match against Hartlepool and so we weren't surprised that it was difficult and at times they put us under a bit of pressure, especially in the first half.

"But we stood firm and then the two goals in quick succession probably killed them off but in saying that we had to be professional.

"The TV cameras were here and everyone was expecting an upset but the way we have been going lately we knew we would progress as long as we were professional. It was a good result."