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Sal Offline

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Top lad, hopefully he will be here for a long old time....

JOSE Enrique is so happy to have stayed at Newcastle United last summer that he is already contemplating the possibility of spending the rest of his career on Tyneside.

Enrique has developed into an outstanding left-back during his time at Newcastle and is arguably the best full-back playing outside of the Premier League. His performances this season – and at the end of the last – have established the former Spanish Under-21 international as a crowd favourite at St James’ Park and the former Villareal prospect has responded by claiming he never wants to leave.

At 24, Enrique, in theory, still has his best years ahead of him, but he has formed a strong bond with the city and its football club during his three years in English football.

“I’m so happy I decided to stay at Newcastle in the summer,” said Enrique, who returned to the starting line-up after a hamstring injury in the 3-0 win over Scunthorpe on Wednesday night.

“I know we are only in the Championship, but I love the city and the club. All the foreign players hate the weather here, but it’s not just Newcastle, it’s England. I’m really settled here and I have no desire to go back to Spain. I’m happy at Newcastle, in England and in this team.

“In my three seasons here I know the fans like me and I love that. That is more important for me than anything else, more important than trophies and cups.”

Enrique is not the first foreign import to fall in love with the club and the city it calls home and it is clear Enrique’s words are not empty pledges of loyalty.

He added: “I know it will be difficult for us to win something. I would like that very much, but the biggest thing for me is to enjoy playing football and to be happy. I have that at Newcastle and I don’t want to let that go. I could stay here for the rest of my career because of the warmth I feel. It is unbelievable when the fans sing my name, you know you are playing well when that happens.

“I want to play well for the fans and the club. I say thank you all the time. To come over from Spain and to be so liked by the people here. It makes me very proud.

“The fans in England are very different to Spain. The fans love football here. Spain is a good league, but all the Spanish players prefer playing here I think. I want to stay here, I don’t want to go back to Spain.” Whether Enrique would be advised to stay if Newcastle were unable to return to the Premier League next season

is a moot point, but it does not look like being a call he has to make.

The comfortable win over Scunthorpe has moved the Magpies 12 points clear of third-placed Nottingham Forest with 10 games left to play.

Sensible estimates suggest Chris Hughton’s in-form side will have to win just five of those to ensure an immediate return to the top flight.

Nobody is taking anything for granted within the ranks, although Enrique admits he has begun to think about playing in the Premier League again.

He said: “We do think about next season and being back up there, but you never know what will happen in football. It is still very difficult for us, there are a lot of games still to play.

“We are driven on by the fear of messing things up.

“We don’t want to do that, it would be very hard to miss out on promotion now.

“We’ve got two games away from home to focus on and we need to get something from both of those before we play Nottingham Forest at home. I think, if we win those three games, we’ll almost be there. It will be a big relief.” He continued: “It was a nice evening against Scunthorpe, a very satisfying performance.

“We are in very good form at the moment and it was another important win for us.

“It’s the best football we have played since I came to Newcastle. I think the fans are really enjoying it.

“We signed some quality players in January, players who can help us in the Premier League if we go back up as well. We are in a lower division, of course, but some of our football has been superb to watch.”
19th March 2010 01:01 PM
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richyNUFC Offline

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Post: #2

He's going back to Spain then? Big Grin
19th March 2010 01:04 PM
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Venegoor Offline

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Post: #3

Big Grin
19th March 2010 02:16 PM
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