•LEON BEST says he's enjoying the form of his life in a Newcastle United side which is sitting pretty in fourth place in the Premier League, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.
"This is my best spell of form since I joined Newcastle, most definitely," beamed the Ireland international, who was linked with a move away from St James' Park in the summer transfer window but has instead established himself in the first team under Alan Pardew.
•"I am loving every minute of it and as the games go on I am getting fitter and things are happening for me. It's a mixture of two things, really: faith in me from the manager, and the fact that I am playing every week.
"It's not the same when you come on for 10 minutes, having not played the previous week. It's a whole different ball game, you can't show people in 10 minutes what you are about and you don't get as many chances in 10 minutes as you will in 90, obviously.
•"When you're a footballer you want to start every week and I am getting that chance at Newcastle now."
There was some disruption for Best at the weekend when he was substituted at half time in their Premier League clash with Wigan.
•But Best says the decision was made by boss Pardew because he'd been booked early in the game and Pardew feared a second yellow card.
"When we went in for half time the manager said he thought that Wigan were going to try and work on the fact that I'd been booked and try to get me sent off, so he decided to take me off at half time because of the yellow," Best explained.
•"It was a tricky game. Wigan were doing well against us and knew what they had to do but we did well to get the three points and we deserve to be up there in the table."