Alan Pardew said he would enjoy his Christmas dinner after Shola Ameobi came off the bench to earn Newcastle a 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers.
The Toon boss said before the game anything less than a win would spoil the festivities for him but Ameobi's brilliant late strike put the smile back on his face.
Pardew admitted: "The pudding will taste a little bit sweeter. I feel sorry for our fans. We have put them through the rack, really, over this last period.
"They have watched some football that hasn't been our best. But you have periods in your tenure as a manager and sometimes a season.
"Last season, we sailed through one or two low moments but not many. This year, it's been a sustained little run.
"But the last five games, two wins in the last four Premier League games, they are starting to look the right sort of stats now.
"Now we need to back that up and get a big win against one of the big clubs, and that would really cement us into mid-table."
Pardew singled out Ameobi for particular praise, adding: "Shola's a big man and this was a big occasion and he likes big occasions.
"I wanted to get Shola on the pitch, and thank goodness I did because it was a really class finish.
"He could have taken the shot with his right foot, which is his stronger foot, but to have that composure in that area is first-class."