MAGPIES RETURN TO THE TOP-FLIGHT

Newcastle United will play Premiership football next season, after a disappointing result for Nottingham Forest, guaranteed the Magpies’ return to the top-flight before a ball had even been kicked at St James’ Park tonight.

Had Notts Forest beaten Cardiff in today’s 17.15 fixture, Newcastle would have had to have beatean Sheffield United to clinch promotion. Instead, a 0-0 draw at the City Ground rendered the game to some extent irrelevant and Newcastle – much to the relief of their army of fans – were up. Win, lose or draw, the Toon’s place amongst the big boys for next year was ensured.

Fittingly, Newcastle treated the 48,270 attendants to a display of attacking and well-constructed football. The home side showed grit, enthusiasm, flair (in places) and above all, a high work rate. The performance encaptured many of the qualities they have shown in the 2009/2010 season and Football Shorts congratulates NUFC. They went down and quietly went about restoring the faith, pride and loyalty of a quite unique city, a city for which football is everything, pain, agony, joy and wonder.

Under trying circumstances, Chris Hughton has managed success and in an uncertain financial climate, Mike Ashley has not walked away from the Toon. It is time now, for both of those men to get the praise they deserve.

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