Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini says a change in mentality – and cool heads – have helped kick-start their season.
The Magpies were stuck in the relegation zone two weeks ago after back-to-back defeats at the hands of Leicester City and Crystal Palace.
The nature of the two reverses – with the Magpies conceding eight goals after woeful defensive displays – had led many people to fear the worst for the season.
But successive wins over Champions League-chasing duo Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have shot the Magpies up the table.
The Spurs win, in particular, has delighted fans and players alike, with Newcastle coming from behind to win a game for the first time in almost a year.
Having trailed 1-0 at the break to an Eric Dier header, Newcastle roared back to take all three points with goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez.
A half-time rallying call from the players at White Hart Lane did the trick, along with keeping their heads, according to skipper Coloccini.
“We changed our mentality as normally when we are losing games we have lost our heads and now I think we stay in the game and we found a goal,” said Coloccini.
“Then we trusted in ourselves that we could win the game and we got ourselves the three points.
“We spoke about the first goal and how things could be changed. But I think Tottenham played well in the first half. We didn’t have much to do in the first half but we conceded from a set-play.
“I think that’s why when we came into the changing room we knew that we could score, we said that and then we did it. Then we went for the three points.”
Back-to back wins have given Newcastle confidence that they can make it three on the bounce when they host bottom side Aston Villa on Saturday.
A busy festive schedule – Newcastle host Everton on Boxing Day before travelling to West Brom two days later – then offers United the chance to further improve their position.
Coloccini, however, has warned his team-mates that they must stay grounded and put the hard work in if they are to push up the Premier League table.
“I think the results always help us,” Coloccini added. “At the moment we have been working very hard every week.
“We couldn’t get the result before but now they are coming and we’re very happy about that.
“We’re going to stay with our feet on the floor and keep working. We know that Aston Villa have to fight to get out of the relegation zone soon.
“We want to keep going in this way as well, move away from there and further up the table.
“We need to stay at this same level and try to play at our best like we did against Liverpool and Spurs.
“We have to focus and try to find more wins, especially over this busy Christmas period.”
The festive period will see Newcastle’s squad stretched to its limit, but the win over Spurs showed that they have strength on the bench to change games.
Second-half substitutes Mitrovic and Perez got their reward with the goals after coming on, and Coloccini was delighted for the deadly duo.
He added: “Every week I think the staff are speaking with them and telling them they have to keep working because they will get a chance.
“Mitro and Ayoze are still working very hard during the week and that’s why I think we got the result – because they came on, showed their quality and scored.”