Newcastle United bounced back to the Premier League at the first attempt on Easter Monday.

They had already been promoted before they beat Sheffield United 2-1 thanks to Cardiff City holding Nottingham Forest to 0-0 draw earlier in the afternoon.

The win over the Blades took their current run to just one defeat in 27 league matches under Chris Hughton and the Magpies' boss is delighted to have marked his permanent appointment at St James' Park with promotion.

Speaking to after their success on Monday he compared the achievement favourably with anything he had done as a player: "This is right up there, I must admit. To be standing there on the pitch at the end as manager of this great football club was a very, very proud moment.

"You have achievements as a player which you will always remember and I have been involved as a coach in my time at Tottenham where we have won things.

"But, in a managerial position, this is my first achievement and it's one of the proudest moments of my career without doubt.

"It is a fantastic feeling and one I will cherish for a long, long time."

Newcastle are currently the only side in the country to have an unbeaten record at home and Monday's win was their eighth consecutive success on home soil but Hughton was soon keen to deflect the plaudits towards the players.

"Ever since we came back in during the summer this set of players have been first class," he added.

"They have shown a real desire to get back in the Premier League and atone for what happened last season.

"Their application, attitude and enthusiasm has been outstanding and has made my job a lot easier.

"We have always been building towards promotion and to achieve that with six games to spare is credit to the effort that has gone in.

"Yes, there have been a couple of lows along the way, but our response to those periods has been to go on long, unbeaten runs and answer any critics that may have come our way.

"There are a lot of people to thank for their part in this promotion, but number one has to be the players and I'm delighted for them - they deserve it."

The loss at St James Park extended the Blades run to just one win in nine matches since the end of February but opposite number Kevin Blackwell was keen to pay credit to their hosts' achievement:

He explained: "They have shown real character and desire to get back in the Premier League.

"If you've not got balls then you won't get out of this division. Newcastle have shown they've got balls. They deserve to be in the Premier League and it's a terrific achievement.

"The fans, the stadium, everything about the club deserves Premier League football.

"So, to Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood, I've got to say congratulations."

Sheffield United gave the North East side a scare along the way, Richard Cresswell had given the visitors a 1-0 lead but they came back to claim the points courtesy of a Peter Lovenkrands' penalty and a spectacular overhead kick from Kevin Nolan.

As soon as the celebrations had died down, the message from the home dressing room was clear, they won't rest until they've secured the title.

Championship Player of the Season Nolan told the Newcastle Chronicle: "It's unbelievable to win the game after going 1-0 down, that felt like an anticlimax, but we got through, we've gone through a tough 10 months but we've got games left and we want to go on and win it.

"We're going to enjoy this but we want to go unbeaten through the whole season at home and we want the title."

It was a view echoed by goalkeeper Steve Harper, who added: "We owed it to ourselves to get promoted, there was a lot of pressure on everyone at this football club to get out this season, but if you win it with six games left, that's a massive achievement.

"We've had a belief, were a very resolute side and you can see that in the results.

"It's a tough place for the opposition to come, but we've got three tough away games and we want to finish it off."

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