Eddie Howe said managing Newcastle in the Champions League is something he will never take for granted.
Wednesday marks two years since Howe was appointed manager, with the Magpies 19th in the Premier League table and five points from safety.
Fast forward to 2023 and Howe said that preparing to play the likes of Borussia Dortmund was not something he thought would be possible so soon.
"When we took over the vision was very short term," he said.
"It was, can we stay in the Premier League? We hadn’t won for some time. It was getting that first win and building confidence form there. Once that came, we steadily improved.
"To be at this point so soon after those moments is something we don’t take for granted."
Defender Fabian Schar echoed Howe's sentiments.
On whether he could have imagined playing in Europe with Newcastle when he first joined them, he added: "Probably not, at that stage I wouldn’t even think about it. It was different times.
"The first three or four years were more or less playing against relegation and it is very different. It makes it better for myself to be at this club, which I love so much, and now playing Champions League and having these good times. I’m just enjoying the moment.
"It’s just improvement from every individual. We’ve been on a brilliant journey.
"I have never had such togetherness in a squad before in my career. It’s unbelievable. I’m really happy to be part of it. I think that’s the same for many other players. We just try to fight for each other."