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Kevin Nolan determined to keep Newcastle in Premier League

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20 Apr 2010 19:48:27

Kevin Nolan determined to keep Newcastle in Premier League

Newcastle midfielder Kevin Nolan is targeting an extended stay in the Barclays Premier League after securing a Coca-Cola Championship winners' medal.   The 27-year-old and his team-mates claimed the title with two games to spare with a 2-0 success at Plymouth on Tuesday night.   Nolan, along with senior men Steve Harper, Alan Smith and Nicky Butt, played a key role in uniting a dressing room from which many of the big names were removed last summer in the wake of relegation, and his contribution on the pitch, which includes 18 goals to date, has been pivotal.   Back in the big time: And Nolan (right) is determined to stay there But having helped the Magpies prove their critics wrong, he is now determined to re-establish the club as a Premier League fixture.   Nolan said: 'Everyone is now saying it is easy and we should have done it, but at the beginning of the season, we weren't favourites to win this league, we weren't favourites to even go up automatically, so it just shows what we have done.   'There are a lot of ex-players who wrote us off, a lot of pundits who wrote us off, and we wanted to prove all that wrong, and a lot of papers who did hammer us when we went down, and rightly so.     'But we have found something now which hopefully can be the beginning of something which is going to be brilliant for Newcastle United, and that's a squad of players who want to play for Newcastle United and love this club as much as we do and want to be back up there as much as the fans do.  'We want to be back where we belong. We are back there - it's going to be tough, it's going to be relentless again, but we are going to give it our best shot and hopefully make sure we stay a Premier League club now for years to come.   'This club doesn't belong in this division, the fan-base, the stadium we have got. 'A lot of mistakes have been made over the years and we have spoken about them, but now this is about learning from the mistakes and slowly building this fantastic club up into a great club.' Harper, 35, who kept his 21st clean sheet of the season in the win at Home Park, has played in an FA Cup final and the Champions League during his time at St James' Park, but admits life in the Championship has been tough.  Job done: But Harper wants to finish on a high He said: 'When you have got 23 games at home in front of a massive crowd full of expectation and 23 cup finals away from home, it's very tough.   'People say, "Newcastle United, this sort of budget, big club, should bounce back", but this is a very tough league.   'There are some very good players in this league who deserve the opportunity to play Premier League football and who want to play Premier League football next year.' The Magpies will be presented with the trophy on Saturday after their final home game against Ipswich, in which they will look to complete an unbeaten home campaign.   Harper said: 'It's great that we will receive the trophy in front of a full house on Saturday - but nobody wants to pick it up after a defeat, after the Lord Mayor's Show, or whatever. 'We will be looking to come out flying on Saturday, put on a good display and rightfully pick up a trophy that everybody at the football club deserves.'  Newcastle wrap up Championship title as lowly Plymouth are sent downUps and downs: Our guide to the all the promotion and relegation dramaManchester United eye summer swoop for Newcastle starlet Vuckic Newcastle defender Coloccini fears injury could scupper World Cup plans


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