Cheik Tiote insists he is not surprised by how well Newcastle have adapted back to life in the Premier League this season.
The Magpies are six points clear of the drop zone and know a win over Birmingham at St James' Park on Saturday would almost certainly mathematically secure their presence in the top-flight.
A three-point haul would also boost their hopes of a top-10 finish, with just two points separating them from Stoke.
That would represent a significant feat for a club which underwent a traumatic restructuring after slipping out of the Premier League two years ago, with some of the biggest names jumping ship while others were offloaded as part of a dramatic cost-cutting exercise.
The Toon, who returned to the top tier this season, have fared well against the 'big clubs', with Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool all failing to win on Tyneside.
And midfielder Tiote, a £3.5million acquisition from FC Twente last summer, does not believe too many eyebrows should be raised if the Magpies finish in the top half of the table.
He said: "No, because we work together and we have grown in confidence together, so I am not surprised.
"If you do well against a big club you have confidence, and this year we have done well."
What will be the outcome in the match Newcastle vs Birmingham?