Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is determined to re-establish the club as a force in the Barclays Premier League next season.
The 49-year-old arrived at St James' Park in December last year tasked with nothing more than keeping the Magpies in the top flight. He achieved that with such ease that missing out on a top-10 finish on the final day of the campaign came as something of a disappointment and sights will be set significantly higher this time around.
"For me, it makes a massive difference for a manager to be in charge at the start of the season," Pardew told the Evening Chronicle. "It is unlike coming in mid-season, like I did last year. I can tweak the way we play from here on in, add discipline to our shape and see how the players respond to that."
He added: "It is very much going to be about how we play this season. We believe we can have a successful season and move forward.
"Last season was very much about stability and making sure we stayed in the division. This year will be about getting a reputation and moving forward in the right direction as a football club."
Pardew believes his squad is already stronger despite skipper Kevin Nolan's departure for West Ham with Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba, Sylvain Marveaux and Mehdi Abeid having been added to the mix.
The manager is determined to bring in two more players with a striker his main priority - Newcastle have not given up hope of landing Paris St Germain's Mevlut Erding, but have denied reports that they have tabled a bid for Reading frontman Shane Long.
However, they remain in a state of limbo with Spanish full-back Jose Enrique, who has been offered a new deal but is yet to sign it amid reported interest from Arsenal and Liverpool among others.
The club's £1million bid for Swansea defender Neil Taylor was rejected, but they are awaiting developments on that front.
Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest are understood to have made an approach for winger Wayne Routledge, one of the players who is likely to move on from St James' this summer.