Manuel Pellegrini reveals his view on Newcastle's Premier League form
Rafa Benitez's side were propping up the division ahead of a run of three successive victories.
Newcastle are now 13th and level on points with Pellegrini's West Ham side ahead of Saturday's meeting between the two sides at St James's Park.
"They started the season very bad, but they were always very tight games they played," said Pellegrini.
"They have a good team, so maybe the position in the table is more realistic now than what it was at the beginning of the season."
West Ham have only won one game at St James's Park in the past 20 years.
"I always have my mentality that we can beat every team, and we will go to Newcastle and try to win," said Pellegrini at his press conference this afternoon.
"I hope that our fans can enjoy this Saturday."
Meanwhile, West Ham striker Marko Arnautovic has been declared fit after recovering from the hip problem which forced him off against Manchester City last weekend.
Former Newcastle striker Andy Carroll is also available after recovering from an ankle problem, but midfielder Jack Wilshere is still sidelined.
"Marko has trained all week with no problems," said Pellegrini. "Carroll is maybe one week ahead of (Jack) Wilshere."