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Former Newcastle striker says Rotherham reminds him of his old club

6 years ago

Former Newcastle striker Leon Best, says that his current spell at Rotherham reminds him of his days at St James Park.

The Ireland international reckons that the team spirit as Rotherham battle for Championship survival, is very similar to what existed in the Newcastle dressing room in the 2009/10 eventual stroll to promotion.

Leon Best joined Newcastle from Coventry for £2m halfway through that promotion bid, started six matches and came off the bench in seven others.

Whilst he contributed no goals in that promotion push, the next two seasons he actually had a decent goal average in the Premier League, scoring 10 goals in 25 starts (plus four as  a sub).

His final season at Newcastle was the campaign when United finished fifth and Leon Best played a decent part early in the season alongside Demba Ba, before the arrival of Papiss Cisse took United to another level that season.

Actually sold for a profit (£3m to Blackburn), Leon Best then suffered a series of injuries and loss of form, before a number of loan moves (including under Steve McClaren at Derby).

Eventually now ending up at Rotherham on a deal until the end of the season.

Rotherham actually came back on Saturday against Derby after going 3-0 down, Leon Best scoring twice in the last five minutes to grab a point in a 3-3 draw. That result leaves Rotherham third from bottom and a point from safety.

The former United striker says ‘there are normally groups of players or foreigners who stick to their own’ – I wonder what he would make of the Newcastle dressing room these days, as judging by the results and lack of togetherness on the pitch for most of this season – team spirit has been at a premium.

Leon Best:

“It reminds me of the year I went up with Newcastle. All the lads are together.

“It is rare you find that. When you are at clubs, there are normally groups of players or foreigners who stick to their own – not in a malicious way, it’s just what they’re used to.

“Everyone is equal here. Everyone’s the same and will do anything for each other.

“If you come down to the training ground, it’s not a palace. If I was a fan looking from the outside, I would be proud of the players, proud of what the club is, because it is not made easy for everyone.

“If we carry this on, I think the chairman needs to get a new training ground.”


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