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The 51-year-old manager believes the Magpies can improve upon their fifth-placed finish this time around, despite admitting they are not a big club in financial terms

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has expressed delight at keeping his squad together over the summer and believes the Magpies can now better last season's impressive showing.

The Magpies were shock contenders for Champions League qualification last term, eventually finishing fifth ahead of big spending Liverpool and Chelsea.

Such form had sparked interest in the likes of Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Cheikh Tiote, but the club have managed to hold on to their prized assets.

And the Englishman has now claimed that this can be a catalyst to the North East outfit going one better this time around.

"Although we are a big club, financially we are not as big as the others," he told Sky Sports. "It is difficult to get some stability in your squad when players are being touted around.

"For us, it was very important to keep that group together. We worked hard last summer to bring them here, they did terrifically well, we finished fifth and we want to do the same again or even better."

Newcastle have claimed four points from their opening three games but will be without Pardew for their next two fixtures after he was handed a touchline ban for his behaviour during the recent win over Tottenham.

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