Yohan Cabaye has admitted that Newcastle's next three games will reveal how good they really are, but he is looking forward to the challenge after shrugging off reports of interest from Manchester United.
The Magpies are currently unbeaten in the Premier League after 11 games of the season and occupy third place after beating Everton 2-1 at St James' Park on Saturday.
Newcastle face a daunting run of fixtures after the international break, with trips to Manchester City and Manchester United followed by a home game against Chelsea.
Cabaye, whose fitness needs to be assessed after picking up a groin injury at the weekend, says they could not be going into the games with more confidence.
"We got off to a good start with the draw against Arsenal and winning the derby away against Sunderland," the France midfielder told The Journal.
"The fact we've conceded very few goals has really boosted our confidence. We have 25 points and we're still unbeaten, and that's great to have that heading into the international break.
"But when we come back we're playing City at their place, United at their place, then we've got Chelsea at home; after that we'll really know how good we are."
Cabaye has earned rave reviews for his performances during the early part of the season after arriving on Tyneside over the summer from Lille.
He has become a more important figure in the France set-up as a result and speculation has suggested that national team manager Laurent Blanc has alerted Sir Alex Ferguson to his abilities.
Cabaye is aware of the Manchester United rumours but is not paying much attention at this stage as he focuses on playing as well as he can for Newcastle.
"I heard about United's interest in me, but things are only just beginning," said the midfielder, who signed a five-year contract at St James' Park in June.
"I have a bit of experience of clubs following me, so I would rather not get carried away by thinking too much about such things.
"I simply want to concentrate on my objectives with Newcastle - and playing for Newcastle."
The 25-year-old is particularly keen to repay Alan Pardew's faith in him after the manager played a key role in bringing him to Newcastle.
"Things are going very well for me, especially with the coach," Cabaye said.
"Before I signed for the club I spoke to him (Pardew) and I really felt that he wanted me to come, and that he thought it could work out for me.
"That pleased me a lot and I'm trying to give my all so that he's not disappointed, because he has faith in me and he's the one who came and got me.
"I've felt good here from the first training session, I like it here and get on with everyone. I'm really impressed with what we've done since the start of the season."
Cabaye added: "I think I've improved since I came here in terms of physical impact.
"Every game is at 100 per cent and I think I've taken on a new dimension."