Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote has told his team-mates to keep the faith after a demoralising defeat at Stoke.
The Magpies came within nine minutes of ending their wait for a Barclays Premier League victory and five of avoiding a fourth successive top-flight defeat for the first time since 2008 at Stoke last night.
However, Papiss Cisse's 47th-minute opener ultimately counted for nothing as Jon Walters and substitute Cameron Jerome struck at the death to render a much-improved display by the injury-plagued visitors futile.
Alan Pardew's men have now won only one of their last nine league games and currently sit in 14th place in the table, and the situation could deteriorate further over the weekend as they are not in action again until Monday night, when Wigan head for St James' Park.
But Tiote told the club's official website, http://www.nufc.co.uk: "This was so difficult for the team to take.
"We played well and were the better team on the pitch. We tried to pass the ball well and scored the first goal, but after that we were unlucky because it was two sloppy goals that cost us the game.
"Everyone is very disappointed, but we were much brighter than we have been recently and had more energy on the pitch.
"If you play well like we did, then you expect to win the game, so if we continue to play like this, we will get three points again very soon."
Full-back Danny Simpson was equally disappointed, but also confident that a corner has been turned after cards-on-the-table discussions following Sunday's tame 2-0 defeat at promoted Southampton.
He said: "It was a big blow. You can't fault our performance and we gave it everything, every single one of us.
"We looked comfortable and we felt comfortable at the back. We were dealing with everything they threw at us and we were trying to get a second goal.
"We had a couple of chances, but the first goal and then the second one straight afterwards were just a big blow because I think we deserved a win, to be honest with you.
"We all had a good chat after Southampton and said it wasn't good enough and that we need to perform better away from home to give us a chance, and it was the complete opposite from Southampton.
"We did everything right. The game-plan was perfect and we went 1-0 up. But those two goals were a killer because I thought we deserved to win the game.
"I don't think they were better than us, but they got the two goals.
"We have got a couple of days now before the next game and we have to pick ourselves up and get going again."