Mathieu Debuchy is confident Newcastle’s French connection can make an impact in the Barclays Premier League next season.
The 27-year-old was one of five Frenchmen drafted in in January as the Magpies belatedly moved to strengthen their squad in the face on an unexpected fight for top-flight survival.
But an initial impetus soon dissipated and as a flirtation with the drop developed into a full-blown battle against relegation, talks of splits within the camp emerged.
However, France international Debuchy has become the latest member of the squad to insist that is simply not the case, and that he and his compatriots will be better for the experience of the last few months when they return to action in August.
He told the Northern Echo: “There is nothing broken, there is nothing like that.
“Since January, I have never read the English press, so I do not know, but in France, they must surely talk. They will say, ’Newcastle signed many [French players] and there are no results’.
“But now I hope we have a good foundation for next season with a strong group in place.”
Debuchy admits the transition from Ligue One, where he was playing his football for Lille before Newcastle finally pushed home their interest in him, has been tough with the physicality of the Premier League coming as a surprise.
However, he insists he is happy with his decision to head for England.
He said: “Since January, I have discovered many things and I really have no regrets about coming to Newcastle. When we arrived, me and the other new signings knew that Newcastle were not in a good situation.
“Yo [Cabaye] explained to me that here, all the matches are tough. I’ve realised that quickly. There was the Europa League, which took a lot of energy, even though we are not going to hide behind that.
“Physically, it is a big step for the French between the two leagues. You have to be prepared. I felt it from my first matches. It is full on from the beginning to the end, so we knew it would be tough to the end. Well, it has been.”