Dwight Gayle has been looking both backwards and forwards.
Newcastle’s top scorer says that they had to overcome the curse of the relegated team and the fact that every other Championship side were desperate to beat the Magpies.
To set a club record of 14 away wins in such a season is testament to the character of the players and Gayle says it shows how ‘switched on’ the team have been.
As for moving forward, the Newcastle number nine says ‘you have to be excited’ because ‘we are a pretty young squad and we have got momentum behind us’.
When bringing in his 12 signings last summer, Rafa Benitez gave himself a little bit of insurance with the experience of Gamez and Murphy but the rest of the new players should all have the best of their years ahead of them, if they are good enough.
“We’ve improved so much, as you’ve seen throughout the season – from the moment Rafa Benitez took over, the players have stepped it up a level.
“Hopefully, he continues to do that. The fans love him and so it’s a perfect match.
“Promotion was the aim for all the lads at the end of last summer and with the manager staying and all of that, it’s easy to say ‘well, we had to be up there’ – but over the last six years, there’s only one other team that has come straight back up so that just shows how hard it is.
“It’s a massive testament to the work we have all put in that we’ve done it.
“I think you have to say a big congratulations to the staff, the players, and the fans, with the way we pulled through together.
“I think it’s a great achievement but you know you’re going to have to prove yourself again in the Premier League.
“You have to be excited about what the future might be, as we are a pretty young squad and we have got momentum behind us.
“There are a lot of young players and everyone is going to be improving – the fact that the Championship title race went down to the last day is just another feature that is going to help the boys grow up.
“If we can keep growing as a young team, you never really know how far we could reach.
“We have dealt with the pressure this season, now we have to do it again in the Premier League, but it will be a different kind of pressure being back in the Premier League – but the challenge will still be the same.
“Every team, home and away, were going to be up for it more than in any other game when they played against us and whenever Newcastle fans were going to an away ground, the (opposition) team was always up for it.
“We had to overcome that and it just shows how good a team we’ve had that we were able to do it – it shows how switched on we’ve been to be up against it and still come out with the Championship.
“We have to carry that attitude and togetherness into the Premier League.”