Newcastle United defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has admitted that last season was a stressful one for the club.
The Magpies narrowly avoided relegation by finishing 16th, only five points above the drop zone.
Yanga-Mbiwa joined the club in January from French club Montpellier and revealed that his first few months in England were hard.
"It was tough and pretty complicated at times but the job was done - we stayed in the Premier League, which is what we set out to do when we arrived in January," the 24-year-old told nufc.co.uk.
"Newcastle United is a massive club which deserves to be playing Premier League football," he added. "It was a very stressful situation and we owed it to ourselves to go out there and do really well."
The club brought in a host of players in the January transfer window in an attempt to improve their Premier League position. But despite the introduction of Frenchmen Yoan Gouffran, Mathieu Debuchy, Moussa Sissoko, Massadio Haidara and Yanga-Mbiwa the club continued their struggle with relegation.
After Christmas, the Magpies only won five games and experienced a morale-sapping 6-0 defeat at home to Liverpool. A year previously the club were battling for Champions League football in a campaign that saw them eventually finish fifth.
Safety wasn't guaranteed until the victory at Queens Park Rangers in May. Yanga-Mbiwa revealed that the whole club breathed a huge sigh of relief after surviving and everyone was able to enjoy themselves.
He is hoping that the club can keep their feel-good factor following Premier League survival and take it into next season.
"What we were doing for the last few months was playing with quite a lot of pressure on our shoulders, but as soon as we beat QPR and secured our safety, things were much better," he continued.
"Even in training sessions, people were enjoying themselves because the weight was off our shoulders. It was a very tough season but we will go out next year and aim to hit the ground running and do a much better job."
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