By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Last season was a learning curve for Newcastle United according to Argentine ace Jonas Gutierrez, and he believes the Club are better equipped for the 2013/14 as a result.
The extra demands brought about by European football took their toll on Alan Pardew's squad domestically and although the Magpies won't have that to worry about next term, Gutierrez believes there is still plenty to take on board ahead of the players returning for pre-season training next month.
Ultimately, despite a horrendous injury list, Newcastle stayed up with a game to spare while navigating no less than 14 extra matches as they reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
But their final Barclays Premier League position of 16th was nonetheless hugely disappointing for all concerned at St. James' Park and Gutierrez is predicting better things to come next year.
"We have to learn from last season," he told nufc.co.uk. "We made mistakes and we can learn from those to ensure that we don't make them again next year.
"It was so important to stay up. When you start the season the first thing you think about is staying up and then you build and progress from there once that is achieved.
"Last year was quite a new one for the Club because it had been a long time since we were in Europe, and we have to learn from that."
In January, no fewer than six players - Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran, Mathieu Debuchy, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Swiss prospect Kevin Mbabu - were brought in to bolster the squad.
And although no new faces have arrived yet this summer and the transfer window does not formally reopen until 1st July, Gutierrez believes "one or two" further additions would put the Magpies in a great position.
"We have a really good group of players now," he said. "We have different options in different positions and are much stronger throughout the squad.
"If we can add one or two more then things could be even better."
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