Newcastle are too big a club to be plying their trade in the Championship, according to midfielder Jack Colback.
And as a result relief is the overriding emotion in the Magpies dressing-room after Monday night saw Rafa Benitez’s men pass the Championship promotion finish line.
We have had the odd wobble, but that happens at any level
United’s average home attendance this campaign has been more than 51,000 - almost 20,000 more than Aston Villa, who have the next highest.
And despite having one of the lowest net spends of any team promoted in the last decade, they forked out around £50m for players last summer, as well as managing probably the largest wage budget the second tier has ever seen.
Geordie boy Colback knows all too well that United are built for the top flight - and that’s why he’s so happy they’re back.
“We are relieved,” he said.
“We were nailed on favourites to go up and I think that comes with the club, the stature of Newcastle and the stadium – no disrespect to the league but we are in the wrong place.
“We have got the job done.
“This is what we set out to do from the start.
“We knew this was the minimum requirement so congratulations to every single person involved.”
Colback played a major role for Newcastle last season as they were relegated from the top flight. And as a result he has revealed a sense of responsibility to get the club back where it belongs.
“When you get relegated you feel a sense of responsibility,” he said.
“The only way to try and heal that is by bouncing back.
“Like I said that was the aim from the start – to get back where we feel like we belong.
“It is a great achievement.
“That is not only for the club but the fans, who now have something to look forward to, especially after the pain of relegation last summer.
“I think across the season we have been very consistent.
“Yes, we have had the odd wobble, which will happen at any level.
“And recently we have struggled as we have got closer to the finish line. But it definitely feels good to finally get over that finishing line.”