Bolton defender Zat Knight has admitted it has not been one of his most enjoyable Christmases as he focuses on trying to pull clear of Premier League trouble.
The Trotters have endured a miserable first half to the season and only climbed off the bottom of the table last week following a win over local rivals Blackburn.
The club had held their seasonal party earlier in the month but only eight players attended and Knight, one of those who skipped the event, is still not in the best of sprits.
"I've never been at the bottom of the league before - and it was kind of hard to go out and have a good time," he said in The Sun.
"I'm not saying it was right or wrong but I did things differently. It was one of my ways of dealing with it.
"We had a few days off, most of the boys wanted to spend time with family and friends."
Knight has struggled to come to terms with Bolton's plight but is now determined to build on the victory against Blackburn by picking up another three points at home to Newcastle on Boxing Day.
He knows it is important to perform much better at the Reebok Stadium, having lost seven out of eight home matches so far this season.
"When you watch TV and see yourself at the bottom of the table, it hurts," he said.
"It's our job. Regardless of what people want to think of footballers, it does hurt.
"It's not very nice when you hear Bolton have the worst defensive record. As a defender - you want to do something about it."
Speaking about the clash with the Magpies, Knight added: "It's an absolutely massive game. We need to capitalise on what we did against Blackburn.
"It's still not over though as January's a tough month. We definitely need to turn our home ground into a fortress.
"We believe we are better than what we have shown.
"We had a good season last season and maybe some thought we'd be a bit better. But we can't live on last season's reputation.
"Sometimes you need to work twice as hard.
"The start of the season did not go well for us and we did not have the confidence.
"There's a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. But we need to make it a bigger, brighter one."