Alan Pardew spoke after Saturday's home defeat against Leicester City how he wants the necessary league points won before he turns his mind towards the FA Cup Semi-Final against Watford.
"We need to get a couple of wins and get them before the semi-final to give ourselves some breathing space, we have some difficult games but this is a team that can win at any time, we have proved that in the first half of the season and in the cup.
"But in the second half of the season we haven't had that win that would have taken some pressure off. We handled it well today but it just wouldn't come for us."
A strike against the woodwork close to the end of the game showed the slight margins that decide matches and the strong finish by the home side typified the way they came back into the encounter.
"We are on a tricky run and things are not falling for us, we tried to force it today and make sure our performance was at a level where we could overcome the fortune of the game. We almost achieved that, but not quite.
"Leicester definitely shaded the first half and looked the team that would go on to win, but we played very well in the second half and caused them some problems, which is difficult to do as they are a very organised team."
Having watched Leicester from the sidelines Alan believes that they are side who would be worthy winners of the Premier League title.
"They would be worthy champions in terms of their performance against us, they have such speed and they are effortless going forward at times. What won them the game was their defensive discipline. The midfield two did not give us any stake or anything to cling to so we could break. It had to be outstanding play from us to create a chance."