Newcastle's summer signing Gabriel Obertan is confident the club can build on their fantastic start to their Premier League campaign.
The high-profile departures of Kevin Nolan, Jose Enrique and Joey Barton over the summer, as well as the failure to buy a big-name striking replacement for Andy Carroll, led many to believe the Magpies would struggle this season.
However, the St James' Park outfit have defied those gloomy pre-season predictions by remaining unbeaten in their opening eight games - their best league start for 17 years - and currently sit in fourth place in the table.
Obertan, who moved to the club from Manchester United, feels the side can continue their positive start to the season.
"The club is progressing nicely and going in the right direction," the 22-year-old told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.
"It was one of the reasons why I came here because I liked the ideas of the manager and the type of players he wants to bring here.
"I love the challenge here. There are a lot of good players and we have to keep fighting for our place.
"Now we have to continue the great start we've had and build on things."
Obertan is one of a number of French players including Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux and Demba Ba, who have formed the backbone of boss Alan Pardew's rebuilding plans at the North East club.
The former Bordeaux man revealed that all the French players are already settled at the club but stressed that every member of the squad have played their part so far and will continue to contribute throughout the season.
"The French players have settled in very well here already," added Obertan.
"But it is not only about us, it is about the whole group, and it is going really well.
"There are a lot of good young players coming through the ranks here and they are all for the future."