Manager Alan Pardew says he did not expect so many of Newcastle United's young players to play such a key role in their recent Premier League revival.
The Magpies have won four successive league games, beating Liverpool and Tottenham, as well as knocking holders Manchester City out of the League Cup.
Striker Ayoze Perez, 21, has scored three goals in as many games.
"Did I expect certain personnel to be around it and to have done so well? No," Pardew told BBC Newcastle.
"I didn't think Perez would have the impact he's had. Sammy Ameobi I've always hoped for. Paul Dummett? No. Jack Colback playing every minute of every game? No. Mehdi Abeid? No.
"These guys have come through and that's what we really want."
Newcastle's transfer policy has been to sign players with potential, in terms of achievement and sell-on value, that has been borne out by the signing and subsequent sale of players such as Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy.
Summer arrivals including Perez, Remy Cabella and Emmanuel Riviere fit that criteria, and have made some impact in the first-team squad.
However, Pardew has previously been disappointed not be to be able to nurture his own talent pool.
He is confident that is changing, with players such as Rolando Aarons and Adam Armstrong also involved for the Magpies this season.
"If we look at the teams financially above us, their record with young players is not good," Pardew continued.
"I look at teams similar to us. I look at Everton and what they've done over the last four years is what we haven't done and we are now starting to.
"That is to have young players saving us money by coming through to the first team and my staff deserve credit for that. Some players we've had to work very hard on."