The Football League Paper - - INSIDE -

The Toon's pro­mo­tion cam­paign started be­fore the sea­son did when they were un­beaten in the fi­nal six games of the pre­vi­ous sea­son in­clud­ing a fi­nal day 5-1 an­ni­hi­la­tion of Spurs show­ing that while the Mag­pies were down they cer­tainly weren't out. The 'Rafa-lu­tion' saw 11 play­ers leave and another 17 de­part on loan while in to­tal a dozen came in. A Cham­pi­ons League win­ner, Ben­itez loaded up with play­ers equipped to get New­cas­tle straight out of the Cham­pi­onship and de­spite back to back shock de­feats to be­gin with United were soon in full stride. Six wins in a row cul­mi­nated in a 6-0 away vic­tory at QPR, but even bet­ter was to come. Three late late goals trans­formed a 3-1 home deficit to Norwich into a sen­sa­tional 4-3 tri­umph that kicked off a nine game win­ning run, and with 50,000 plus pack­ing St. James' Park the pro­mo­tion pa­rade seemed in­evitable with New­cas­tle never out of the top two from mid-Oc­to­ber. Goal ma­chine Gayle blew op­po­si­tion de­fences away and even when in­jury meant things weren't all right on the Dwight, Ben­itez's boys had more than enough strength in depth to en­sure an im­me­di­ate re­turn to the top flight as the Premier League's north east stan­dard bear­ers. 'Toon Up' takes a step by step look at a glo­ri­ous sea­son as New­cas­tle stamped their au­thor­ity on the di­vi­sion and pre­pare to take their place back in the Premier League. Pub­lished at the end of May - PRE-OR­DER your copy now.

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