It had been a long time coming.
Five years and three months after Paul Dummett made his Newcastle United debut, fans loudly – and proudly – sang his name.
At the King Power Power Stadium last weekend, there was a chant of “Paul Dummett, he’s one of our own” as the club recorded a 2-1 win and climbed up to 10th place in the Premier League.
Dummett – who was superb at left-back – really is one of their own.
A boyhood United fan, he grew up in Gosforth and came through the club’s Academy before having loan spells at St Mirren and Gateshead.
Dummett returned from injury in December – and the results since then speak for themselves.
It’s everyone collectively helping us pushing in the right direction to stay in the league. We’ve hit the 38 points now, and we want to push on now to get as many points as we can.Paul Dummett
Dummett is used to negative comments – especially on social media – but there has only been positivity in recent months.
However, the 25-year-old – who was once told by former boss Alan Pardew that he wasn’t good enough for the Premier League – has shrugged off the praise ahead of Sunday’s home game against Arsenal.
For his part, Dummett insists that he’s just doing what he’s told when he takes to the field for United, who have only lost three league games since Christmas.
“I’ve seen a lot of stuff about it saying we’ve only lost three games – against Man City twice and Liverpool,” said the Wales international.
“I try to do my best for the team – what the manager wants – and I’ve been playing well.
“But it’s not just down to me coming back into the team – (it is) everyone on the pitch and the subs, the whole squad involved and the manager and the fans.
“It’s everyone collectively helping us pushing in the right direction to stay in the league. We’ve hit the 38 points now, and we want to push on now to get as many points as we can.”
Newcastle are just two points off manager Rafa Benitez’s 40-point target – and 10 points above the relegation zone. Benitez has named the same team for the last three games and United have won them all.
Consistent team selections have been rewarded with consistent performances.
“We’ve hit 38 points now, which could see us safe, but we want to carry on going and see where it could take us,” said Dummett, who signed a new deal in February that could keep him him at St James’s Park until 2022.
“In any team, it’s nice to have a bit of consistency, because you’re playing with the players every game.
“We know what we’re good at and we know what we can improve on. But we just try our best in every game.
“We just work so hard every game to make sure we gain three points.
“We had a tough spell in the middle of the season, but we’ve picked up a lot of wins and a lot of points towards the back of the season, which has seen us climb the table recently.”
United have six games left to play. And Dummett says he and his team-mates aren’t about to ease up between now and the end of the season.
“We’ve got to keep on going with the rest of the games this season,” Dummett told BBC Radio Newcastle.
“We’ve hit 38 points now. Hopefully, we can try and push and get as many as we can.”