Midfielder Cheick Tiote has backed Newcastle United to finish in the Premier League's top five this season.
The St James' Park club made a strong start to the 2013-14 campaign before falling away after the turn of the year, ending up in 10th.
However, manager Alan Pardew has added the likes of Remy Cabella, Emmanuel Riviere and Siem de Jong to his squad in the close-season, and Tiote is hopeful the trio can help Newcastle make a more sustained challenge for European football this time around.
"I know some of the new boys from when I've watched the French league like Remy Cabella, Manu Riviere and also Siem de Jong from Ajax," he is quoted as saying by the Northern Echo.
"I've played against him before so I know what he is capable of.
"They are good signings for the club and hopefully they are going to do well for us this season.
"I think there could be more players, but at the moment I think the squad looks better than last season that's for sure.
"We have had the opportunity to bring in some new players and we could bring in more, but I definitely think we are stronger."
Newcastle last made the top five in the 2011-12 season and Tiote is confident of repeating that feat.
"We will try to win every game and finish near the top," he added.
"You never know with the Premier League. You can't say we will finish third, fourth, fifth or sixth, because it's really tough, but I think for us it's important to be ready for the start of the season and try to win every game like we did two years ago when we finished fifth.
"The more games we win the better chance we will have of finishing in the top five rather than the top 10.
"I think it’s possible this squad can repeat the fifth place from two years ago, because we've got the players and have brought in some real quality. We just have to work hard, because it's not easy to finish there in the Premier League."
Newcastle kick off their Premier League campaign against champions Manchester City next weekend.comments