Newcastle secure Championship title
Newcastle United secured the Championship title on Monday with a 2-0 win at Plymouth Argyle.
First-half goals from Andy Carroll and Wayne Routledge sealed the title after Chris Hughton's side made sure of promotion back to the Premier League following a year away with a 2-1 win over Sheffield United two weeks ago.
Hughton, who was given the job on a permanent basis after a temporary stint as caretaker boss, saw his side move onto 98 points from 44 games -- nine clear of second-placed West Bromwich Albion, who will join the Magpies in the Premier League next season.
"For a little while it's been about winning it. We have been the team to beat all season," said Hughton. "I couldn't be more proud of this group of lads," added Hughton, who saluted his side's "mental strength" and ability to "grind out results" under pressure.
"We've gone up as champions and it's absolutely fantastic," influential goalscoring midfielder Kevin Nolan told Sky Sports. Nolan added that "we've got a massive season in the Premier League to look forward to" as pundits line up to suggest the squad needs a radical overhaul to make the step up.
A third club will be promoted via the playoffs - worth tens of millions of pounds (dollars) to the winner - with Nottingham Forest, Cardiff, Leicester and Swansea currently on course for those duels culminating in a Wembley showdown.
Defeat for former England striker Paul Mariner's Plymouth meanwhile condemned them to relegation to the third-tier League One.