Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has admitted he is facing his biggest challenge since arriving at St James' Park.
The Magpies have lost their last three Premier League games and won just one in eight league outings.
Asked if he is enduring his toughest spell since replacing Chris Hughton at the helm in December 2010, Pardew told the Evening Chronicle: "For sure - there's no doubt about that. We are really having to fight.
"We have got players, let's be honest, who aren't playing as well as we know they can. We are struggling for a bit of confidence."