Jonas Gutierrez feels Newcastle silenced the doubters by qualifying for the Europa League last season and is looking forward to playing on the continent for the first time.
Alan Pardew's side defied expectations by pushing the top four Premier League teams throughout last term and eventually finishing fifth.
Argentinian winger Gutierrez was glad to prove the critics wrong with a storming season and is looking forward to taking on the new challenge of a European campaign.
He told Chronicle Live: "It's really important that we have made it into Europe.
"When you think back to what people were saying about us at the start of last season, it is a huge statement. Nobody expected us to get there.
"There were a lot of changes in the dressing room and a lot of new players who came in but we had a really good season.
"It was always in our hands to get a place and we managed it."
Gutierrez, who arrived at St James' Park from Real Mallorca in 2008, is excited to be gracing the European stage for the first time.
"At Real Mallorca I didn't play in Europe," he added. "This will be my first time.
"When you sign for a club like Newcastle you always hope to play."
After going up against Primera Liga and Premier League heavyweights over the course of his career, Gutierrez does not expect to have trouble adjusting to Europa League football.
He said: "I played at Real Mallorca and we played against Barcelona, Real Madrid and Valencia.
"Here I am used to playing Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea.
"I don't think it will take much to adjust."