Massadio Haidara

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

 

Massadio Haidara may have only been on Tyneside for six months, but the full-back has seen enough to know that Newcastle United can target a top-half Premier League finish this term.

Twenty-year-old Haidara was a January recruit from Nancy and caught the eye in his eight appearances across domestic and Europa League action.

The left-sided starlet was one of five new signings at the turn of the year, and Haidara believes Magpies fans are still yet to see the best of him and the new-look United line-up.

"For me personally, there were some good times and some other times where I felt I could have done better, looking back," Haidara told nufc.co.uk.

"But I had the chance to discover the Premier League and was also lucky enough to discover the Europa League too, which I had never played in before.

"Hopefully those new experiences will have helped improve me and I'm looking forward to the new season and running out at St. James' Park again.

"In terms of the team, we can really aspire to finish in the top half and then push on from there.

"If you look at each individual player in their position, we have got some fantastic quality. All we need to do is make sure we work hard, pull that together and if we can combine those strengths then we can perform well as a team."

Haidara - along with Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Mathieu Debuchy - is currently undertaking his first pre-season as a Newcastle United player.

And while the youngster was already made to feel very welcome following his arrival from France, he believes this gruelling time can only be even more beneficial to his integration in a new country and new club.

"Personally, I feel really well settled in here," the defender explained.

"And speaking on behalf of the other players who also arrived in January, we were welcomed with open arms by everyone at the Club. We all feel really happy.

"Obviously we have a pre-season now to go through here at Newcastle and that will help us to feel even more integrated.

"This is a very important time for us. Ahead of a new season it is crucial that you all come together, spend time together and ensure that everyone is bedded in."

To buy a 2013/14 Newcastle United change shirt with Massadio Haidara's name and number on the back, click here