The flying wing led a knee injury to the tail end last season and consequently missed the chunk of Magpie's pre-season training.
The 26-year-old has made only seven appearances this campaign, including a start and lasted 196 minutes on the field after falling into the tip of Matt Ritchie and Kenedy.
The former Chelsea wideman has admitted has attributed his difficult start to the injury season but he is determined to overcome it.
"I have to give everything and work harder because I was not in good shape at the start of the season," said Atsu, currently internationally obliged with Ghana, preparing for Sunday's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Ethiopia. "I still get my fitness back to where I want it to be.
"I'm really working hard, and I'm convinced that this will be a good season. I know I can come back to my best form.
"It has been harder to recover than I thought it would be. To be fair, it has been very difficult to get back from the injury. However, it is normal. It was a knee injury and they are always hard to recover from. Over time, I will be back to my very best football. "