Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has challenged his players to prove last season's struggles was just a blip.

A little more than 12 months ago, owner Mike Ashley was forced to bring forward a significant proportion of his winter spending plans with the club entrenched in a survival fight with injuries and the rigours of European football taking a heavy toll.

Pardew said: "Obviously, I believe that and I think we are proving that.

"A lot was written and said about us last year and I thought a lot of it was unfair and some of that needs to be readdressed because it wasn't right.

"The Europa League had a massive impact, like it's having on Swansea. If Swansea didn't have that Europa League, they would be much further up the league than they are now."