Newcastle's Premier League return could be short-lived without reinforcements
Lee, who was part of Kevin Keegan's squad that took the Premier League by storm following promotion in the early '90s, believes his old club could go straight back down again next season unless Ashley backs manager Chris Hughton in the transfer market. Hughton's side had secured promotion before a ball was even kicked on Monday in the 2-1 win over Sheffield United thanks to Nottingham Forest's 0-0 draw with Cardiff and while the Championship leaders are focusing on wrapping up the title, Lee has led the calls for Ashley to dig deep. Related ArticlesNewcastle 2 Sheff Utd 1Welcome back, NewcastleNewcastle revival timelineNewcastle win promotionChampionship tableTelegraph player rater'They are back where they belong which is fantastic and I am ecstatic for them because it is where they should be,' Lee said. 'The only thing is that I hope they get resources to buy some players to improve our squad because if they don't it could be Newcastle United struggling again. 'They are a Premier League club and I just hope now that they get the money and resources to push them back and try to get somewhere near where we were ten or 15 years ago. 'In the back of the fans' minds they want the club to push on now and spend some money in the summer and make the squad stronger and make it a Premier League club like we should be.' The former England midfielder, who played for Newcastle 303 times from 1992 to 2002, was full of praise for Hughton and his players. 'Chris has surprised everybody,' Lee added. 'He was under severe pressure when he was appointed caretaker for two or three months. It was dragging on and he didn't know if he would be in a job from one week to the next but he just got on with his job. 'His objective was to win promotion and he didn't veer away from that. Whatever was going on behind the scenes he kept winning games for Newcastle United. Him and (his assistant) Colin Calderwood deserve all the credit they get because they have done a great job.' Lee has also been impressed with the attitude shown by Hughton's players this term although he is loathe to draw comparisons with Newcastle's class of 1993 when Keegan steered the club into the top flight before being beaten to the Premier League title by Manchester United two years later. 'I think it is very difficult to make comparisons with teams,' Lee said. 'We were on an up. We weren't really expected to do so well after almost being relegated the year before when Kevin took over to get into the Premier League. We had a lot of young, exciting players coming through. 'With this team most of the players were in the team that got us relegated. So all credit to them because they could have had a bit of a sulk because they are in the wrong division but they have knuckled down. They have got on with their jobs and been by far the best team. 'They should never have come down. I am pleased for the players and the management and the fans especially because they have been turning out in their droves again against, let's say, some lesser teams in that division. 'You look around the Premier League which other clubs would be able to attract in the region of 40-45,000 people?'
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