Newcastle United finally secured their first English Premier League win of 2018-19 over the weekend.
The Magpies narrowly pipped Watford to all three points at the Saint James Park on Saturday, with Ayoze Perez’s 65th-minute strike making all the difference.
The win came as a huge relief after Newcastle had gone 10 games without a victory, losing seven and drawing three.
With just six points picked up, Rafa Benitez’s side have only managed to temporarily crawl out of the relegation hole.
The outcome between Monday night’s bottom-of-the-league clash between 20th-placed Huddersfield Town and 19th-placed Fulham will determine if Newcastle will remain 17th heading into matchday 12.
Benitez’s men have only shipped 14 goals – same as fifth-placed Arsenal – but it’s in the final third – where they have only scored seven times – that they continue to struggle.
Newcastle have managed to keep four clean sheets thus far, and the manager reckons their defensive brilliance is one of the reasons why he remains optimistic.
“If you see the teams that normally get relegated, they normally concede goals. We don’t concede too many, so that for me is one of the biggest hopes of why we can stay up,” Benitez told The Sun.
“We are organised and it is difficult to break us down.
“We are solid in defence, our problem is that we have to create more or create better chances.”
Newcastle have already played some of their toughest games for the first-half of the season, and will now relish the chance to come up against less-stronger oppositions.
Of the remaining nine games left in 2018, the boxing day clash with Liverpool is the only fierce encounter where the opponents are the clear favourites, but they have the opportunity to gather as many points as possible and steer away from the relegation zone before now and 2019.