NEWCASTLE United’s win over Queens Park Rangers has eased the pressure on Alan Pardew’s side.
And the club is ready now to put pressure on the teams above them in the Premier League table – despite an unenviable run of festive fixtures, according to Pardew.
Newcastle face league leaders Manchester United at Old Trafford on Boxing Day – and that tough game is followed by a December 29 visit to Arsenal.
Buoyed by the result, Pardew is upbeat going forward after a testing few weeks on and off the pitch.
“You take the name of QPR away from the game, and the whole occasion was bigger than that,” Pardew said.
“It was big for this football club, and we got the win. Now we can hopefully settle down, and not have as much pressure on us.
“It was about the result for all of us, and all of our fans. They can sit down with their Christmas pudding and take a sigh of relief really.
“We have had a run of games and a period where you can think the world is against you.
“We could have thought that against QPR, but you just need to keep working hard, and that’s what the players did.
“The subs obviously made a difference as well, and that bodes well for the squad because everybody contributed. That’s important.”
However, if Newcastle are to pull further away from trouble, they need more points over the coming weeks.
“You need two or three wins together, and suddenly you’re in a much healthier position,” Pardew added.
“That’s probably the next agenda for us now – to win two or three on the trot. I think we’re capable of doing that.
“We said last week about the resilience of the team, and that was the difference for us – we had a real resilience and organisation that probably won us the game.
“(The fans) have stayed with all through this period, and I thank them for that.
“I hope that we have given them a result that makes Christmas a more pleasurable experience.”