Moussa Sissoko says Newcastle United's surge into European contention is exactly what he expected when he joined in January.
The match-winning midfielder scored a wonder goal to send Newcastle surging into the top five and promptly predicted the club have the quality to sustain their fine recent run.
That would see the club challenging for the Europa League – or above – and Sissoko firmly believes the team are strong enough and good enough to keep going.
He said: “This is where I hoped we would get to when I joined. Last season was a really difficult time for Newcastle, but when we arrived we had a mission, and our mission was to make sure we got the points on the board to stay up.
““It was very hard, but we did it and we succeeded in our mission.
“We’ve had a great pre-season under our belt and we’re putting in great performances. We don’t want to see the same thing happen to us that happened last season.
“We have great players here, so we know we have the quality to make sure we can keep fighting for a high position in the league. In football, we are well aware, however, things can move fast and things can change very quickly.
“We are not going to be over-complacent about that, but we know we need to go out there and fight to put points on the board, firstly to make sure we have enough points to stay in the Premier League and then afterwards we will set ourselves objectives to make sure we can stay in the top ten or even higher.”
It has been a satisfying four weeks for Sissoko, who has helped France to the World Cup finals as well as tipping United into top five contention.
He said: “It’s been a fantastic month with winning four games for Newcastle and also helping France to qualify for the World Cup finals.
“I personally feel really good, and feel as though I have been putting in some really good performances recently.
“The whole team is playing very well, and I think our style of football on the pitch at the moment is really good.
“We’re looking very strong, and the victories are a great thing for all of us. We just have to make sure we go out there and do on the pitch what we are showing in training.
“Hopefully, we can reward the fans for the fantastic support they are giving us as well. It’s not just the French players that are looking forward to the World Cup.
“Every player in the team and every nationality within the squad knows there is a World Cup coming up in the summer, and it is up to us to put in our best performances to make sure that everyone who wants to go to the World Cup can hopefully get on the plane to Brazil.”
Meanwhile, United have announced a significant investment in their training ground - in a move that Joe Kinnear claims will attract players to the club.
The multi-million pound investment will start in May 2015. Kinnear said: “This is a hugely exciting development for Newcastle United.
“We have one of football’s great stadiums and we are delighted to now be announcing plans for a training complex which will rival any in Europe.”