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Best: I want to stay in Toon

IRELAND striker Leon Best has told Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton that he wants to stay at St James' Park and fight for his place, instead of going out on loan to a lower league club.

Best has not played for the Magpies - or for Ireland - this season due to an ankle injury but he's close to full fitness now having resumed training. He was part of the travelling party for Wednesday's dramatic Carling Cup win over Chelsea, though he didn't make the final squad.

Newcastle have scored 15 goals in seven games this season so finding the net is not a major problem and Best knows he may have to wait for his chance when he's fully fit.

"It's up to the manager now what happens, but I want to stay here and prove myself," Best told the Herald after the player was linked with loan moves to Championship sides Middlesbrough and Leeds United this week.

"If the team are doing well and the strikers are scoring then I can't complain about not being in the side. But I am determined to get fit and get back into the side."