Alan Smith believes Kevin Keegan is beginning to work his magic at Newcastle and expects results to improve soon.
The Magpies have not won since Keegan made a popular return to St James' Park in January and are now just three points above the relegation zone.
However, Smith was encouraged by Newcastle's performance in the 1-0 defeat to Blackburn on Saturday and is looking ahead with optimism.
"The more and more we work together, the more influence the manager is having," Smith told the club's official website.
"We are getting fitter and there is a camaraderie and that's something the gaffer has emphasised since he came in.
"Everyone is playing for each other and that stands us in good stead."
Smith, who was relegated with Leeds in 2004, has urged his team-mates to show their battling qualities and pull clear of trouble.
"It is a time where we have to stand up and be counted, go out in front of 52,000 people and prove our worth," he said.
"We've got to show everyone that we want to fight for the cause.
"It's getting tight but you always knew it would do.
"We looked at our home games as ones that were winnable, and one was against Blackburn.
"We've deserved the criticism on occasions this season and we're all big enough to accept that.
"It's up to us as a team, as players, and as people to sort that out."