The former Celtic boss could do little to prevent Newcastle stealing the plaudits last season as they claimed a UEFA Europa League spot, as well as an impressive fifth-place finish.
"If it hasn't upped the ante, it certainly should do," said O'Neill.
"It was a great season for Newcastle. It might have been unexpected in some quarters, but they signed some very good players and it worked out brilliantly for them.
"It was a really great season. And, of course, that's something that we want to emulate as quickly as we possibly can.
"But it's easier said than done.