New signing Henri Saivet has vowed to play his part in returning “massive club” Newcastle to where they ought to be.
The 25-year-old Frenchman made his debut as a substitute in Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League victory over West Ham, which lifted the Magpies out of the relegation zone.
However Saivet, who played twice against Newcastle for Bordeaux in the 2012-13 Europa League, knows there is still much work to be done not only to ease the club to safety, but to restore them to their former standing.
He said: “The image people have in France of Newcastle is that it is a massive club, it is just struggling to get on track.
“Everything we like about Newcastle. It is a good traditional English club. It is a little bit of a shame that they are not at the top of the Premier League where they deserve to be.”
Saivet was introduced as a 57th-minute replacement for injured full-back Paul Dummett against the Hammers and formed a central midfielder partnership with fellow new boy Jonjo Shelvey.
The pair will compete with Jack Colback for a regular starting berth, although it seems likely that Cheick Tiote will not fight the same battle as he closes in on a move to Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.
The Ivory Coast international was allowed to travel to China last week to talk to the Shenhua, although the deal is yet to be finalised.
Whatever happens on that front, Saivet has insisted he is ready to be called upon as he attempts to establish himself in the team.
He said: “The most important thing is I am ready and ready to play. If I am called upon, I will go out there and try to do my best.
“What matters more than anything at the moment is the club. There’s no player bigger than the club, that’s all that is important.
“But I am ready when called upon and I will make sure I give my best.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle remain in talks with Tottenham over winger Andros Townsend, while Florian Thauvin’s hopes of a return on loan to former club Marseille are likely to depend on Newcastle’s success or otherwise in landing a replacement.