By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Nile Ranger spoke of his delight after marking his first Newcastle appearance in eight months with a goal in the 2-2 derby draw against Sunderland.
He hadn't pulled on a black and white shirt since March, having spent the final few weeks of last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday and then being ruled out since the summer through injury.
But in Monday night's Barclays Under-21 Premier League clash at the Stadium of Light, Ranger made his return and took just eight minutes to slot his side in front.
His close pal Bradden Inman played him in and he oupaced and outmuscled James Armstrong before guiding the ball past Jordan Pickford. He completed 70 minutes on his comeback before making way for Dennis Knight.
And in an exclusive interview, he told nufc.co.uk: "I've been out for a while so getting a run-out with the Ressies is always good.
"It's a good feeling. I was buzzing before I got here, thinking I hadn't played in ages. The last time was earlier this year for the Ressies against Chelsea so it's always a good feeling.
"It's been since pre-season that I've had a problem with my leg so it's been annoying but I managed to get through it."
The 21-year-old didn't make a single appearance under Alan Pardew last season but caused plenty of problems for the Black Cats rearguard in an end-to-end Tyne-Wear encounter.
Connor Wickham cancelled out his goal before Inman put United ahead once again, only for Craig Lynch to salvage a draw for the home side in stoppage time.
But Ranger said: "It's always good to get goals.
"All strikers want goals so that's the main thing."