YOAN Gouffran says Newcastle United can put last season’s frustration behind them – and storm up the Premier League next term.
The forward was pitched into a relegation battle when he joined the club in January.
Gouffran contributed three goals, the last of which – scored at Loftus Road a month ago – secured Newcastle’s Premier League status with a game to spare.
The 27-year-old, signed from Bordeaux, is confident his first full campaign at St James’s Park will be more memorable given the talent Alan Pardew has in his dressing room.
“What we really want is to make sure we start next season a lot better,” Gouffran said.
“We want to come out of the blocks well – we now know exactly what we have to do. We have a great team, and we really have some wonderful players.”
Gouffran – who turned out against United in the Europa League in the first half of the season – has no regrets about joining Newcastle, despite the club’s domestic struggles.
“I am really happy at Newcastle,” added the former France Under-21 international.
Gouffran scored Newcastle’s winner against Queens Park Rangers, profiting from a dreadful mistake from defender Jose Boswinga.
And the relief was evident on and off the pitch at Loftus Road.
Gouffran and his team-mates had played under intense pressure over the previous few months, and a relieved Pardew addressed his team in the dressing room after the match, which ended 2-1.
“Obviously, I was glad my goal made us safe in the Premier League,” said Gouffran.
“We were all happy after the (QPR) result. The manager took some time to talk to us after the match.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s pre-season programme is yet to be announced, but the club is reportedly in talks over playing a friendly against Championship club Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on July 28.
The club’s Under-21 friendly against Gateshead at the International Stadium has been brought forward to Friday, August 2 (7.30pm kick-off).