Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew admits they cannot be sure of their Premier League safety.
It may be that Newcastle will now attack the FA Cup and the Europa League - they have already qualified for the knockout phase - with extra gusto to try to salvage the season.
But the Premier League is the priority and Pardew is refusing to shirk the seriousness of the current poor run.
Asked if it was too early to say Newcastle were being sucked into a relegation battle, he replied: “Well, we are now, and no, it’s not too early.
“We can’t bury our head in the sand, and we have to get wins to get out of it.
“Actually, I’m so buoyed by the performance [at Stoke], and by the fact that the things we have changed, the things we’ve done, have definitely helped the team.
“The team have responded to them. Hopefully, we can take that forward.”