Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has challenged his players to prove their hunger to be part of the club's future during the remaining weeks of the season.
The Magpies head for relegation-threatened Blackpool on Saturday having reached 40 points for the campaign with a hard-fought draw against Manchester United on Tuesday evening to edge themselves closer to Barclays Premier League safety.
Victory at Bloomfield Road would surely end any lingering fears of being sucked into the relegation fight and allow the club to start planning for the new season. Pardew's scouts have already scattered far and wide in anticipation of a busy summer with the club intending to invest a large proportion of the £35million they received from Liverpool for Andy Carroll in January on new recruits.
However, they will first need to thrash out the way forward with the likes of full-back Jose Enrique, who has been strongly tipped to follow Carroll to Anfield, Joey Barton and skipper Kevin Nolan, whose contracts are running down. Enrique and Barton have put talks on hold with the latter indicating that his decision will depend on how much ambition the club's hierarchy shows this summer.
But Pardew insists the remaining five games also give those players an opportunity to prove that they are worth a new deal.
He said: "We are not really going to do anything in terms of the players we have here until the end of the season. That's right and proper because we have got the keep the players hungry and fighting to the end to earn that new contract. That's important."