Kevin Keegan has hailed the influence of Newcastle United's African stars on their upsurge in form.
Senegal pair Habib Beye and Abdoulaye Faye, Nigerian hitman Oba Martins and Cameroon star Geremi were all missing in January during the African Nations Cup.
And Keegan told Newcastle World TV: "The African lads are very important at this club because when they were away at the Nations Cup it was more than 20 per cent of our first-team squad.
"At most clubs these days African players are important and it's easy to see why if the lads here are anything to go by. They are terrific athletes and terrific professionals.
"They do things right and players such as Geremi and Abdoulaye Faye certainly know their way around the streets and have got a lot of experience. Then we've got Oba who is a total one-off and gives us something no-one else does.
"Habib also has been outstanding in recent weeks and his energy and enthusiasm is unbelievable.
"It's no coincidence they have been ever-present during our recent run and having them back has made a huge difference."