Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has laid down the gauntlet to his players ahead of Saturday's clash against fellow strugglers QPR by claiming it is a "must win" game for his side.
Pardew has raised the stakes ahead of the showdown with fellow drop-zone candidates Rangers by insisting his team will leave themselves in a perilous position going into the Christmas programme unless they claim all three points against Harry Redknapp's men.
"You often hear the term must win game, but I have to say this match against QPR fits that description," states Pardew. "There is a lot of pressure on my team this weekend. Rangers will arrive with nothing much to lose, so it will be a tough one for us, but we need to make St James' Park a tough place to come for visiting teams once again.
"We need the supporters to stick right behind us because this next period of matches will go a long way to deciding how our season is going to pan out and we need to start picking up some points."
Newcastle face a tough Christmas schedule with Saturday's game against QPR followed by a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United and games against Arsenal and Everton.
He has also confirmed he is 'actively pursuing' new signings ahead of the January transfer window and hopes to make at least two signings by the middle of next month.
"The chairman will back me in the transfer window and I have to reward him for the faith he has shown in me," added Pardew.
Newcastle find themselves just two points clear of the relegation zone in the Premier League ahead of the QPR clash, after a run that has seen them win just once in their last 11 games in all competitions.