By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Alan Pardew believes United's 5-1 friendly win at Hartlepool on Tuesday night highlights the strength in depth of his squad.
Missing the likes of Tim Krul, Fabricio Coloccini, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, Newcastle cruised to a comprehensive victory over their League One opponents at Victoria Park.
Shola Ameobi, Sylvain Marveaux - twice - Haris Vuckic and Gabriel Obertan were all on target for the Magpies, as they continued an impressive run of friendly form, and Pardew was pleased with what he saw from some stars who are pushing for inclusion on the opening day of the new season.
"It showed we have had a really strong pre-season, and I could pick anybody out of that team and put them in the first team," the boss told nufcTV.
"They were terrific tonight. The undercurrent of the team is strong, as we showed last year, and it looks a little bit stronger this year."
Ameobi in particular caught the eye for a dominant first half display, before being forced to hobble off just before the break.
However, Pardew clamed any fears over the big striker's fitness, revealing: "He's fine.
"Shola is unplayable when he plays like that and he caused them no end of problems.
"But we had some great performances - our wide players in particular. Marveaux, Romain and Gabby all really showed a little bit of class tonight, and it was nice to see Hatem get half a game. He's not far away."