WAYNE ROUTLEDGE might have joined the eighth club of his relatively short career, but he is now ready for continuity after outlining a desire to stay with Newcastle United for the long haul.

Routledge was amazed by the reception he received from the Geordie supporters on Wednesday night, when he emerged as a second half substitute on his debut in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

It was somewhat ironic he started life on Tyneside against the club where it all began ten years ago as a highly- rated winger whose reputation earned him a switch to Tottenham in 2005.

Since then, though, he has struggled to settle, with unsuccessful spells at Portsmouth, Fulham, Aston Villa and Cardiff before a 43- match league stint – his most productive since the Palace days – at QPR.

Now Routledge, born in Sidcup, claims he has opted to head for the North-East with the intention of staying here for the remainder of his playing days.

“Why have I had so many clubs in my career? I honestly couldn’t tell you,” said Routledge.

“There are different reasons why you don’t settle at a particular club or it doesn’t work out with a certain manager.

“But I am here now and I want to establish myself as a Newcastle player. In an ideal world I would be at Newcastle for the rest of my career.

“I want to see us back in the Premier League and back in the Champions League. That is my goal, we’ll just have to see how we go.

“I’ve played most of my football in the south so it does feel a bit weird being this far north but you have to grow up sometime. I want to get myself settled in the area a quickly as possible. I’m going househunting this week and hopefully find myself a nice place.”

Having spent the last year in the Championship, Routledge is well aware of what is required to earn promotion and feels Newcastle have what it takes to stay ahead of the chasing pack until May.

“You don’t turn down a club like Newcastle. This is easily one of the top ten maybe top five clubs in the country,” said Routledge, hoping to start at Leicester tomorrow.

“It’s just in the wrong division at the moment and that is what we’re trying to change on the pitch.

“The prospect of playing in the Premier League was a massive factor. I am confident of my own ability and believe that I can do well in the Premier League.”

Given the goings on at Loftus Road, where they are on to their eighth manager in a little more than two years, Routledge feels there is no reason to worry about the off-thefield situation at St James’ Park.

The Newcastle supporters are still keen to see owner Mike Ashley sell up, but the £1.2m winger feels he can cope with anything after life under Flavio Briatore rule at QPR.

“I’ve been at a few clubs and you can tell if there is a problem in the team from the banter in the dressing room,” said Routledge. “It’s obvious these are a bunch of lads who are enjoying their football and are all focused on winning games and getting promotion.

“It’s all looking positive.

People tell me Newcastle have had a bit of turmoil off the pitch but QPR was a bit mad at times, managers changing and suchlike so it was difficult to focus on football. Hopefully that is all behind me and it’s all about getting Newcastle back in the big time.”

Newcastle boss Chris Hughton continues to looks at ways of strengthening his squad before Monday’s deadline and Celtic left-back Danny Fox has emerged as a realistic target.

Fox, 23, has been discussing a £1.5m move to Burnley but Hughton – also linked with Honduran defender Osman Chavez – is weighing up a late move after the hamstring injury sustained by Jose Enrique on Wednesday.

■ Newcastle, meanwhile, confirmed last night that new signing Mike Williamson has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at St James’ Park.