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The 23-year-old isn't dwelling on praise but wants the side to improve further, while he is also looking forward to the return of their players from the Africa Cup of Nations

Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul is hoping that the club can finish in the top six of the Premier League this season, with the aim of attracting even higher quality players.

The Magpies defeated Blackburn Rovers 2-0 on Wednesday night and currently sit in sixth position, with their impressive campaign so far surprising most, but Krul is not stopping to accept the praise, instead looking for the team to build on their success.

Newcastle remain firmly in the battle for European football this season, lying just one point behind Arsenal in fifth, with the Gunners' 7-1 win over Blackburn taking them to 40 points, but Krul and Co. could move above them on Sunday, should they conquer Aston Villa.

He said: "We really want to push on for the second half of the season because we are up there and the chance is there.

"We really have to push on. I don't think we should rest on our laurels, we just have to really crack on now.

"We have got a fantastic squad and if we can prove we are a top-six team at the end of the season, that will attract more players to the club and then we can really push on."

The 23-year-old hailed Demba Ba's part in the club's success with the striker netting 15 goals in 19 appearances, stressing is delight at the striker's return, while he also hopes Cheick Tiote will soon follow.

The Dutchman continued: "Demba has been amazing, and to get his mate with him, that's a bonus and I am looking forward to seeing them both back.

"Hopefully Cheick won't be too much longer because he is a fantastic player for us as well."

The custodian, who had loan spells at Carlisle and Falkirk, recognised that the rest of the squad have been in top-form too, but highlighted the importance of the defence for remaining unbeaten in the opening 11 games.

He added: "The whole team has been amazing. I am glad everybody is getting praise.

"The defence in the first 11 games was amazing because we were unbeaten.

"It's great. We are working hard at it and we stand fifth in the league now, so we are doing great."

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