Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul believes relegation from the Premier League two seasons ago helped rejuvenate the club.
The Magpies were relegated from the top tier in May 2009 and, fighting financial difficulties at the time, many predicted a bleak future for Newcastle United.
Current manager Chris Hughton was installed as boss and shipped out some big names, including Damien Duff, before guiding the side towards the Championship title last term.
Dutch youngster Krul, given an extended run in the team of late due to injury to Steve Harper, believes the team spirit benefited the most from that relegation and insists they are now reaping the benefits back in the top flight.
"I think we needed to start from scratch with relegation last year," Krul told The Independent.
"I think it proved the world of good to be honest, we needed to start again. Look at us now - we came back a healthier, stable squad.
"We came up with this group. The boys who wanted to leave, they left. These are the ones who really wanted to stay and that gives us an extra special touch to it."
Krul faces his first North East derby with Sunderland on Sunday but, after last weekend's impressive win at Upton Park, the 22-year-old is in confident mood.
"Derbies are always difficult to call but with us winning last week we have extra confidence this time going into this game," he said.
"We absolutely dominated West Ham at their ground and we have to do that again," added Krul, who appears unfazed by his own goal against Arsenal in Newcastle's midweek Carling Cup defeat.
The former ADO Den Haag youth believes team-mate and friend Andy Carroll will prove vital in Sunday's clash at St James' Park, and Krul insists the big striker is destined to become a full England international.
"I grew up with him, I really get on with him," said Krul of Carroll.
"Everybody said last year because he scored so many goals in the Championship he has to do it in the Premier League and he has already scored five.
"[He has made] A lot of assists as well, he is very important for Newcastle. He is a great talent for England as well, he will do that sooner or later."