After a fourth consecutive defeat in midweek to Stoke, the Toon desperately need a result against Wigan on Monday as they try and pull themselves away from a relegation scrapNewcastle United manager Alan Pardew admits his side are in a relegation battle after totting up 14 points so far this season, their second worst start for a decade.
The last time the Toon boasted such a points tally after 14 games was back in 2008-09 - the season they were relegated.
And with matches against both Manchester sides coming up, along with a trip to Arsenal and Everton at home, things do not look likely to get any easier for Pardew's men.
Asked if it was too early to say his side were being pushed into a relegation battle, the Newcastle boss said: “Well, we are now, and no, it’s not too early."
|GOING DOWN TOON?
|10/1||Newcastle are 10/1 with Bet365 to be relegated|
“We can’t bury our head in the sand, and we have to get wins to get out of it," he added.
“Actually, I’m so buoyed by the performance [at Stoke], and by the fact that the things we have changed, the things we’ve done, have definitely helped the team.
“The team have responded to them. Hopefully, we can take that forward.”
Midfielder Cheikh Tiote shares his manager's frustrations, but insists that if he and his team-mates match the level of performance shown against Stoke, positive results will not be far away.
“Everyone is very disappointed," he admitted. "This is so difficult for the team to take, but we were much brighter against Stoke than we have been recently and had more energy on the pitch.
“If you play well like we did then we will get three points again very soon.”