Danny Guthrie insists Newcastle Untied are exactly where they deserve to be in the Premier League.
The Magpies have made a fantastic start to the season, losing just one game, and find themselves in the top four - ahead of Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Newcastle welcome Chelsea to St James Park on Saturday and a win would put them four points clear of Andre Villas-Boas' side.
Guthrie told the Chronicle: "We're there on merit. We're a good team and people are starting to realise that now.
"With 11 men at Man United we were giving them a game.
"Chelsea now is huge for us. We have a good run of fixtures coming up and we know where Chelsea are at the moment. We need to get at them."
But the midfielder is not getting carried away even as Newcastle sit in the Champions League spots.
He added: "It's too early for that. If we win next week then people start raising eyebrows. But we just continue taking each game as it comes.
"We've been brilliant this season, losing one league game and our defensive record speaks for itself.
"That's the basis of what we are doing so long may it continue."