Geremi - I owe Keegan

Newcastle midfielder keen to repay manager's faith

Geremi: Grateful

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Newcastle midfielder Geremi has thanked manager Kevin Keegan for saving his career at St James' Park.

Geremi paid the price for Newcastle's poor form in the early stages of last season as former boss Sam Allardyce stripped him of the club captaincy.

And when the Cameroon international left Newcastle in January to take part in the African Cup of Nations, he admits he feared for his future on Tyneside.

Keegan replaced Allardyce at the beginning of this year and Geremi confesses he was concerned he could have left the club, but he has revealed his gratitude to his new boss for recalling him to the side in March.

Solution

"When I came back from Ghana I wanted to play, of course," Geremi told the Newcastle Chronicle.

"But I knew I had to wait as Kevin Keegan was checking other players. I trained, he saw the way I play and he adjusted the team. He's found a solution and now the team is doing well.

"When Kevin came in everything was new to him, including the players. He had to learn about what he had here.

"He tried a lot of things and now he has found the right solution."

Improve

A seven-match winning run towards the end of last season helped the Magpies avoid Premier League relegation and Geremi feels the club are now well-placed for a good campaign in 2008/09.

Geremi, 29, points to the experience of the likes of Michael Owen, Shay Given and Nicky Butt as reasons why Newcastle can improve.

"If you look at the squad, there are a few players who have as much experience as me. We must all help," Geremi added.

"We had this horrific period, and at that time the senior players had to lift the young players who didn't have the experience. Now we have to continue that."