By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
When Yohan Cabaye walked gingerly from the St. James' Park pitch after 37 minutes of Thursday night's tie against Anzhi Makhachkala, the French midfielder knew his Europa League campaign could be over.
But after a dramatic 1-0 win was secured with the very last kick of the game, the Magpies marched into the quarter-finals of the competition - and Cabaye is confident that he will be fit by the time they come around.
He tried to play on after tweaking his groin as he stretched to make a pass but was replaced by Jonas Gutierrez soon afterwards. And, like the 45,487 crowd, he could only watch as both sides battled to score the goal that would take them through.
In the third minute of stoppage time, Sylvain Marveaux crossed and Papiss Cisse headed home to spark jubilant scenes in the dugout and in the stands and Cabaye was still grinning as he spoke to nufc.co.uk after the full time whistle, which blew immediately after United's winner.
"It was a very good end for us," he said. "We won and we stay in the competition, which was the target before the game and we're happy tonight.
"For me, it's going to be the first time I'll be able to play in the last eight.
"It was hard on the pitch because if we conceded a goal, we'd have needed to score two goals. Then they had a man sent off but for us it was still difficult but we had a bit more of the ball and more chances.
"Thankfully, Papiss scored before extra-time because, thinking about Sunday, it would have been very difficult. But now we're just waiting for the draw tomorrow.
"We're into the last eight and I think if the draw is okay to us we can do something in this competition. We'll see what happens but we all want to make the most of this competition."
The attendance was Newcastle's highest in the tournament by some distance and Cabaye felt the fans helped to inspire United to keep going until the very, very end.
"The crowd was fantastic, the same as every game at home," he said. "They were fantastic and hopefully in the next round they're going to be the same as tonight.
"I want to say thank you because every game, they help us a lot and tonight it was very good."
And, speaking about the injury which forced him, off he revealed: "I hope it's not too bad.
"It's my groin, which has given me some problems this season and I'm still cautious about it so I just wanted to keep my groin good.
"We'll see tomorrow but I don't think it's a bad injury."
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