Emre knows he's playing for Newcastle future

Emre knows he's playing for his future at Newcastle United.

The 27-year-old Turkey international was included in the starting line-up for the first time under Keegan in Sunday's 1-1 Premier League draw with Middlesbrough after serving a three-match ban for his FA Cup third round replay dismissal against Stoke.

Emre, a £3.8million signing from Inter Milan in July 2005, struggled to command a regular place under Sam Allardyce, who signed Alan Smith, Joey Barton and Geremi after arriving at St James' Park.

That sparked speculation that the former Galatasaray playmaker, who has endured mixed fortunes during his time on Tyneside, could head back to his native country.

However Emre, who was due to represent the Turks against Sweden in Istanbul on Wednesday, insists he is going nowhere and is intent on making himself indispensable.

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He said: "I would never say anything about leaving Newcastle. I am focused on my future here.

"I love the city and I am very happy in the dressing room.

"Now I have to show everything for him (Keegan) and everything for this club.

"My aim though is to play more times than in the last three months.

"My country has the European Championships in June. The next four months are important for me.

"They are the most important four months of my career and we have to try to finish as high as we can in the Premier League for the Newcastle supporters."

Like the rest of his team-mates, Emre could not fail to be caught up in the excitement surround Keegan's return to Tyneside 11 years after his previous spell in charge came to an end.

However, after four games and no wins, he knows there is a need for realism in the city and the adoption of a long-term view.

He said: "I am happy. Kevin is a very honest man and a good manager. We are all happy in the dressing room.

"I remember Kevin's team the first time around and always talk about it with my friends.

"They could have been champions ahead of Manchester United back then.

"But time has moved on from then now and we cannot dwell on that too much. We can only think of our futures now and that is what I will do.

"Kevin is a big legend for the supporters and for us after what he achieved as a player and manager."

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