The midfielder came off the bench to play for the first time since damaging his groin at the start of November.
The Newcastle fans sung his name and he threw his shirt into the crowd at the end.
"I'm very happy to be back," he said. "I enjoyed my 30 minutes on the pitch. We didn't lose the game so it was a good day. Thanks to the fans for a great reception.
"It was probably a little early to come back but I was feeling confident and comfortable on the pitch. The manager asked me during the week if I was ready and I said, "Yes, no problem". I was ready to try to help the team.
"I don't think I was asked to come back because of all the defeats. I just worked hard to get fit and help my team-mates. Every game we lost I was far away from the pitch and I could not do anything about it. The only thing I could so was to get fit and come back to help.
"I can't explain the difference in results from last season. If it was simple I would tell you. Maybe we started to lose confidence after we lost a couple of games. After each loss it became more and more difficult to get out of the run.
"It was a good point, a clean sheet and now we have a week to prepare for the Reading game. From now until the end of the season every game will be tough. We need to work very hard to win each one."