The arrival of the 2017-18 fixture list on Wednesday and that journey to St James’ Park scheduled for August 12 (subject to change) will no doubt have had players and fans alike thinking back to that 5-1 loss on the final day of the 2015-16 campaign.
That was an otherwise excellent season as we competed for the title and qualified for the Champions League.
Last season went even better, another title challenge as we ripped up our previous bests in the Premier League, including second place, most goals and points in a Premier League season and the fewest goals conceded ever, going back to 1908.
“We’re starting to prepare the season and we cannot wait to start again,” said Mauricio. “This is a moment for our players to enjoy their holidays and try to recharge the batteries but for us, we’re thinking about starting the season in the best condition.
“I’m always positive about the fixtures. It’s true, the Premier League is tough and we start in Newcastle, that will be exciting because it’s our first game and then our first game at Wembley is against Chelsea, I’m sure the fans will be excited for that as well.
“Newcastle is another motivation for us. The way that we finished the season before (last) is not too much important now but we’ll have that in our mind to motivate us and we’ll try to win.
“Next season will be exciting and to start at St James’ Park will be very motivating for us.”