By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
As Cheick Tiote and his team-mates prepare to head back to Tyneside following their successful trip to Portugal, the Ivorian midfielder has been reflecting on what has so far been a varied and encouraging pre-season campaign.
Newcastle have so far played against sides from five different countries across three different nations this month, and will take on a sixth - Dutch Eredivisie outfit Den Haag - on Saturday.
After a largely fruitful trip to Germany and Austria which saw a win, a draw and a defeat from three matches, United headed to the Algarve on Thursday and won the Trofeo Internacional de Futebol da Guadiana following a 1-1 draw with Olympiakos and a 2-1 victory over SC Braga.
Like the Magpies, both of those sides will be playing European football next term and Tiote believes such tests will stand Alan Pardew's men in good stead when the Europa League kicks off in August.
"I think it's important because every team has a different style," Tiote told nufc.co.uk, knowing that Newcastle have faced opponents from Germany, France, Turkey, Greece and Portugal so far this summer.
"Against Chemnitzer, Monaco and Fenerbahce, there were different styles of football and then again when we played Olympiakos and Braga.
"I think that's useful to us and I think it will help us for the European games."