Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is hoping to reach the next phase of the Europa League with a better squad than the one that qualified from Group D, with the January transfer window looming.
A weakened Newcastle side that featured nine changes qualified as runners-up in their group following a 2-0 defeat to Bordeaux in France.
But Pardew was relieved at that the Magpies had already qualified as the manager admitted the task would've been difficult to do in France.
"We wanted to qualify, that was the first agenda in this competition, and we did that with a game to spare," Pardew told reporters.
"I think it would have been difficult coming here if we both hadn't qualified and they played their best team on that pitch.
"It would have been difficult for us because they have got some very good players. But the bottom line is we have qualified and we can look forward to February.
"I am just hoping that, fingers-crossed, when we come out of the other side of the window, we have got a stronger squad."