Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi believes the return of manager Kevin Keegan could be the spark that ignites his season on Tyneside.
Ameobi made his first start since September against Bolton (PA)
Ameobi made his first start since September against Bolton last weekend and was delighted to be back in action.
He told BBC Radio Newcastle: "Keegan's back, I'm fit again and started a game. It's been a rollercoaster ride.
"It's a dream come true being involved again as it's been a difficult six months. It's a hard pill to swallow."
The Nigerian-born former England Under-21 striker has struggled with injuries this season but believes previously he was often overlooked even when fit.
He said: "There were times when I was available when I was left out of squads and it's been a testing time.
Keegan's back, I'm fit again and started a game. It's been a rollercoaster ride
"It's been hard, especially when you know you're not wanted, to stay focused, but I thank the new manager for saying he has come in and said 'everybody starts on a clean slate' and it's music to my ears."
The 26-year-old grew up on Tyneside supporting the Magpies and knows how much Keegan's return means to people in the area.
"Back when I was at school watching the fantastic football from the East Stand Paddock, I think I can speak for most Newcastle fans how much excitement it has been.
"Obviously being a Newcastle lad you want to play for the guy who was here during the glory days and I've hopefully got a chance to do that."