Cheick Tiote believes these are good times at Newcastle United, and has challenged his team-mates to aim for a top-four finish.
Last season the Magpies were battling against relegation for much of the campaign, but this time round there are echoes of the 2011-12 edition when they finished fifth in the Premier League. United are currently eighth in the standings, and are seven points off Liverpool who occupy the final UEFA Champions League spot.
To finish in the top-six and secure a passage into the UEFA Europa League would be considered a successful season at St James Park, but Tiote believes he and his team-mates are capable of even more. Indeed, the Ivory Coast international sees no reason why Newcastle shouldn’t push for a top-four finish this term.
“At the moment we are in a good position. We are happy because last year it was not the same,” he told the Evening Chronicle. “Now we can try to win every game. If we keep trying that we can gain a Europa League place or even a Champions League place. It is going to be tough because there are a lot of good teams in this league.”
Looking further ahead, it has been claimed by Montpellier that the Magpies have agreed a deal to sign Remy Cabella in the summer. The former France Under-21 international is regarded as one of the best talents in Ligue 1, and it is thought the Tyneside club will pay around £16million ahead of next season.
Where this leaves another Frenchman, Yohan Cabaye, remains to be seen. The former Lille star is enjoying perhaps the best season of his career, and this hasn’t gone unnoticed in his homeland, where reports suggest Paris St Germain are lining up an offer in the region of £25million at the end of the campaign.