By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Chris Hughton paid tribute to United's supporters after making an emotional return to Tyneside with Norwich on Sunday.
The ex-Magpies boss was back in the dug-out at his former stomping ground for the first time since leaving the Club in December 2010.
Hughton famously led Newcastle to the 2009/10 Championship title - and an immediate top flight return - in record-breaking style, writing his name into Geordie folklore in the process.
And while it wasn't a winning comeback on Sunday - Demba Ba's first half strike proving enough to claim all three points for the hosts - Hughton left the Sports Direct Arena with a smile on his face followng a wonderful welcome from the home fans.
"It was always one that I was looking forward to. The reception was excellent and I was absolutely delighted with that," he admitted after the final whistle.
"What I wanted it to be was an even better day, and an even better day would have been for us to get a result that I think, on the balance of play as the away team, we probably deserved.
"It's always strange when you come back to somewhere where you have been in the other dug-out, but as soon as the game kicks off, it's about your team performing well, trying to get the result and trying to keep a very passionate crowd here as quiet as we can.
"Yes, it was an enjoyable feeling, but I so much more wanted an enjoyable feeling at the end."
Hughton also had words of praise for Hatem Ben Arfa, who yet again caught the eye on Sunday as United's main creative force.
The French international was signed on loan by Hughton from Marseille in August 2010, but only played four games before suffering a double leg break
"I am just pleased to see him back playing and back playing at his best," explained Hughton.
"He, of course, scored the wonder-goal at Everton and then he had the bad injury.
"At this moment, irrespective of today, I am just delighted to see him back playing, and he is obviously showing what a class act he is, not only today.
"He can do some unbelievable things on the ball and he is having a wonderful season so far."