Newcastle United keeper Martin Dubravka is targeting three points from Southampton’s visit to St James’s Park on Saturday – before an unwelcome break.
Rafa Benitez’s side are 16th in the Premier League – just two points above the drop zone – ahead of the crucial clash with a Saints side one point and one place worse off.
Newcastle then have a 21-day break before the March 31 home fixture against another relegation rival, 15th-placed Huddersfield Town.
Dubravka – signed on loan from Sparta Prague in January – believes they could prove to be pivotal fixtures.
“These two games will be very important for us,” said the goalkeeper.
“We have to be very focused and we really hope we can take three points, especially (as it’s) at home.”
Newcastle were beaten 2-0 at in-form Liverpool at the weekend, and Dubravka said: “We have time now to analyse the things we did well and what we did badly.
“We will prepare for the next game, and of course it will be a long time before we play the next game.
“We need to stay focused, and of course we have to look at a positive way.”
Of the Premier League’s bottom eight teams, only Southampton have a superior goal difference to the Magpies’ -13.
“We need to find positive things,” said 29-year-old Dubravka. “Of course, we lost (against Liverpool), and we’re not happy. We will only be happy if we take points.
“We need to look to the future and fight for every point.
“We are not in a good situation now, and we need to fight for it.”
Newcastle frustrated Liverpool for 40 minutes at Anfield, but Mohamed Salah opened the scoring after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and found him in space.
Sadio Mane netted the killer second goal after the break. “We have to say we played against a very good team with amazing offensive power,” added Dubravka.
“It was a tough game for us, and unfortunately we didn’t score goals so we couldn’t be successful.
Salah’s shot went through the legs of Dubravka, who only faced three on-target shots. “It was unlucky,” added the Slovakian.
“It wasn’t the greatest shot, but it was close to me.
“Then we conceded a second one in the second half.
“The plan at half-time was that we needed to open the game and be more active, but we conceded. They didn’t have as many chances as you would probably have expected. They only had a few, but they scored their goals.”