Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is confident Cheick Tiote will soon recapture his best form for the Magpies.
Referring to his contribution in midweek against Leeds in the League Cup, Pardew said: "On transition when we were attacking and we turned over the ball, we were more solid, and Tiote had a lot to do with that.
"He was back to near his best. He was a lot more comfortable in possession than last year. He looks more like himself and I am hoping for a big season from Cheick.
"I didn't think last year went well for Cheick in terms of the player he is, and that coincided with the team.
"When he's at his best, I think we are at our best and defensively on Saturday (against Hull) he could have made a difference.
"He gave us a little lift at Villa when he came on, so the signs are good. He has been unlucky to be out of the team because of injury and he has a chance now to reaffirm the quality he has."