Demba Ba has sent out a message to Newcastle United's upcoming opponents, warning them: "I’m better than last season."
The Senegalese striker was a standout star for the Magpies in the first half of the 2011-12 campaign, before his form tailed off following the Africa Cup of Nations.
However, the former West Ham man has been back among the goals for Alan Pardew's side at the start of this term, and Ba feels that he is playing even better than his purple patch of 12 months ago.
"I feel good, I've had some good games and I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing," he told Newcastle’s official website. "I think I'm in better form than last season so I'll just continue to do what I do."
After Newcastle’s impressive tilt at the Champions League places last season, there has been talk that the club will struggle to match that level this time out.
However, following Newcastle's win over Norwich at the weekend the Magpies are just one point shy of their tally at the same stage last season, and Ba thinks they are well placed to mount another challenge for Europe’s elite club competition.
"We're on the road to what we did last season and we just want to keep doing what we do best and get as many wins as possible, especially at home," the 27-year-old explained. "Sunday was important because our start was not too good but not too bad. Our start was average and we needed a win to make a good step forward.
"And we have that win. It was not easy but we have it and we're very happy that we have three points. That's always the main thing in this sport."
Follow GOAL.COM USA on