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The Italian believes Alan Pardew's team can rebound from last season's disappointing showing and make a return to European competition with a positive campaign

Newcastle defender Davide Santon believes the club is capable of returning to European competition in the near future.

Alan Pardew's side struggled domestically last term, narrowly avoiding relegation, but impressed in the Europa League, reaching the last eight before losing 4-2 on aggregate to Benfica.

Santon, signed from Inter in 2011, missed the second leg against the Portuguese outfit because of a hamstring injury sustained in a Premier League win over Fulham in April.

However, the Italy international is eager to help the St James' Park outfit return to the European stage.

"When I came here, I came from Inter and the dream was to play in Europe at St James' Park," Santon told the Evening Chronicle.

"We did that last season. Now the dream is to go back there.

"Newcastle is a big club and we have all of the resources to play in those big games. We have great fans and we are a well-supported team like Inter.

"We know we have to improve on last season."

Pardew's men lost just three games at home as they finished fifth in the Premier League in 2011-12, but could not replicate that feat last term, falling to defeat nine times in front of their own fans.

Santon, though, thinks Newcastle can turn their home ground into a fortress once again in the new campaign.

"We have shown we have a good team here," he added.

"I feel like we are a team that can beat anybody - especially at St James’ Park.

"As I say I came here to play in Europe and this club should be.

"One day I hope to go back to the San Siro wearing a black-and-white shirt. That would be the ultimate dream for me."