Hatem Ben Arfa is hopeful Newcastle United can finish the season in the top five despite their 4-0 hammering at the hands of Manchester City on the opening day of the season.
The Magpies endured a tumultuous 2012/13 season as the club narrowly avoided relegation to the Championship, a campaign that preceded a contentious summer where Joe Kinnear returned to the club after being appointed director of football.
The ill-feeling around the club was worsened by a crushing defeat at the Etihad Stadium and questions are being asked regarding the club's ability to bring in players under the new regime, with Loic Remy the only significant new arrival.
But despite an unnerving start, Ben Arfa feels the club can still replicate their stunning 2011/12 season that saw them finish fifth and secure a spot in Europe, or at the very least secure their Premier League status with a comfortable top ten finish.
"Our objective is to finish in the top 10 and I hope we can finish top five," the France international was quoted as saying by The Sun.
"That is going to be tough but I am confident. The Manchester City game has gone and now we have to turn our attention to West Ham on Saturday.
"I will be doing everything for the team to maybe repeat what we did two years ago.
"We will be stronger than last year. There is confidence in the squad. We think we can do something good this season. "
Newcastle's final preparations for the new season were also disrupted by Arsenal's £10m bid for Yohan Cabaye.
Although the Magpies quickly rejected the offer, condemning the Gunners for the timing of their bid in the process, the activity has seemingly rekindled the interest of Paris Saint Germain in the midfielder.
Le Parisien report that the Ligue 1 champions are now prepared to offer €15m for the France international, a move that would strike another blow to Pardew's already wafer-thin squad.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Top Ten Richest Americans [PHOTOS]
- Is Orlando Bloom’s Wife, Miranda Kerr Singing Love Songs for James Packer? [WATCH VIDEOS]
- 'Jelena' Romance: Selena Gomez Shares her Most Shocking Date with Justin Bieber Involving $3M- Diamond [PHOTOS/VIDEO]
- Watch Out, Robert Pattinson! Kellan Lutz Reveals He Turned Down The Role Of ‘Twilight’ Lead Edward Cullen [PHOTOS/ VIDEOS]