Newcastle midfielder Danny Guthrie has hailed the spirit in the St James' Park dressing room as the Magpies go for promotion at the first attempt.
The 22-year-old signed from Liverpool in July 2008 and was part of the squad which was relegated from the top flight in a miserable season on Tyneside last term.
But Guthrie says the spirit in the dressing room is totally different now, although the Magpies have drawn three out of their last four Championship games to see their lead at the top cut to five points.
He told the Daily Express: "We have drawn a couple that we would have liked to have won but people seem to forget that we have gone 12 unbeaten.
"I have never been involved in anything like last year but everything you go through, even bad things, makes you stronger.
"It was horrible and I am trying to put it behind me.
"We're doing a pretty good job of that even though nothing gets won in the first half of the season.
"So the next few months are massive.
"We are a lot more settled and everyone is pulling in the same direction. Managerial stability means we can get on with playing, while we are going out there to win every game."
Newcastle have been linked to Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford in this transfer window but Guthrie says any singings must fit in with the dressing room spirit.
He added: "It's a different club from the one I joined, particularly in the dressing room where we are all so together.
"It is a really strong dressing room now and only the right players should be brought in
"They must have the right mentality and attitude. Anyone who comes in will have to become part of that spirit.
"I cannot stress enough how we are all working so well together. We all want the same thing and every week everyone goes out and plays for each other.
"Anyone who comes in will have to do the same."
Newcastle next face Plymouth in an FA Cup third round replay at St James' Park on Wednesday night but Magpies boss Chris Hughton says his side will not be seeing the game as a distraction from their push for promotion.
He said: "We do not see the FA Cup as a distraction, absolutely not.
"I will send my players out to do one thing against Plymouth and that is win."
While the wintery conditions have hampered preparations for the match, Hughton believes it is good that his players are getting a competitive run out.
"There are a few players in the squad who haven't played a game in a while.
"The fact is that training has been disrupted to a degree, even though we have coped quite well because of our indoor pitch, but the game against Plymouth is probably a good thing."