Hatem Ben Arfa is grateful to the Newcastle United fans for sticking by him during his time stuck on the bench. The Frenchman has had to be patient in his pursuit of recognition, though, with a 5-1 victory over Stoke City on Boxing Day seeing him drafted back into Alan Pardew's starting XI for the first time in almost two months.
He told the Shields Gazette: "We're very happy. We won, which is the most important thing.
"And I was very happy to be on the pitch. I hadn't started for two months, and I gave all my energy.
"Every time I came on, I tried to do my best. The crowd supported me when I was on the bench, and that made me stronger.
"I want to say thank you to them. Even when I was on the bench, they supported me. They give you confidence and strength.
"I'm very happy, but the most important thing was that we won."
For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tribalfootball