Stand-in captain Jonjo Shelvey admits he is at a loss to explain Newcastle United’s shocking away form.
The 1-0 Stoke City defeat was the club’s sixth successive away defeat in the Premier League.
I can’t put my finger on it. We haven’t performed well away from home.Jonjo Shelvey
Defeat left Newcastle deep in relegation trouble but Shelvey - captain in place of the injured Fabricio Coloccini - says the performance deserved more.
And the 24-year is adamant there is enough “character and fight” within the Newcastle dressing room to stay up.
When quizzed about the dismal away form, the former Swansea City and Liverpool midfielder said: “I can’t put my finger on it. We haven’t performed well away from home.
“Stoke was the first time since I have been here that we have actually put in a decent [away] performance that warranted some points.
“That is why we feel so gutted. We have had a long time since we last played and have worked and worked and worked.
“It has taken a wonder strike to win the game and it is deflating.
“We can’t dwell on it and have to get ready, dust ourselves down, to go again Saturday.”
Shelvey says Newcastle had targeted Stoke away and Eddie Howe’s AFC Bournemouth at home this weekend as winnable games.
He added: “We are a bit disappointed because we knew how important this game was,
“We looked at these two game as potential wins or at least a draw, I thought we deserved at least a draw [at Stoke].
“We have been criticised a lot about our character and our fight and I thought we showed that in abundance.
“We showed the fans we are up for the fight and up for staying in the Premier League.”
Newcastle, 19th, are in the drop zone on goal difference, with Norwich City and Sunderland all tied on 24 points.
Shelvey added: “I think this will go to the wire, I think we only need four wins to stay up, to be honest. We are capable of getting those wins, there are still 11 games to go.
“Every game is a cup final for us, we are going to come out fighting and showing the character and mentality that we did at [Stoke].
“We were unlucky to get beat. If we play like that every game then I’m sure we will be fine.”