Fabricio Coloccini has rallied behind the Newcastle players and insists that the club will be pushing for a top four finish.

Many outsiders believe that the Toon cannot replicate last season’s form which saw us finish fifth in the league.

The arrival of key players such as Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye and Papiss Cisse have added some flair and goals to our side. Whatever anyone thinks, Colo claims we are not one season wonders/

He told The Sun: “I’m not interested what the critics think – we are no one-season wonders.

“I accept the Premier League is becoming far more competitive and challenging at the top end of the table is becoming increasingly difficult.

“But we are confident that more success lies ahead. Newcastle are one of the biggest clubs in England and therefore we should be challenging for major honours.

“We don’t feel under any more pressure because of what we achieved last season. If anything, we are relishing the season ahead. Our success has brought with it greater confidence and more determination to do better.

“Last season we more than demonstrated we are a side that can challenge the bigger teams. Up to the last day of the season we were challenging for Champions League football.

“It wasn’t achieved by chance, either. Over the season we showed great consistency and our goal this season is to better that success.

“I don’t expect things to change. The likes of Manchester City, Man United, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and ourselves will be fighting for the four available Champions League places.

“I’d expect the club to strengthen the squad as well so, with some new players coming in and the current confidence that exists throughout the club, why shouldn’t we be optimistic?”