The Magpies have won only one top-flight match in their last five, and are also struggling with a busy Europa League schedule.

And with his side travelling to Brugge on Thursday before hosting West Ham on Sunday, Ben Arfa has outlined the importance of the club's next few matches as they seek to improve on last season's fifth-placed finish.

"We have a big week ahead," he told Chronicle Live.

"First Brugge and then West Ham and we have to win both. If we win the next few games in the Premier League, we will move up the table.

"There is West Ham first and then Swansea. I think the next five games are very important."

The 25-year-old went on to express his disappointment at Fabricio Coloccini's reckless red card during the 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday, ruling the Argentinean out of his side's next three domestic matches.

"It was the only bad part of the day," he said.

"We have lost 'Colo' and he is very important for us. It was the worst experience of the day to lose him."