Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has admitted they are already embroiled in a relegation battle.
The Magpies have lost their last four Premier League matches and sit just two points above the drop-zone.
And Pardew has now rubbished claims that it was too early to talk about Newcastle being dragged into the relegation battle as they already have been.
"Well, we are now, and no, it's not too early," he told the Daily Mirror.
"We can't bury our head in the sand, and we have to get wins to get out of it.
"Actually, I'm so buoyed by the performance [at Stoke], and by the fact that the things we have changed, the things we've done, have definitely helped the team.
"The team have responded to them. Hopefully, we can take that forward."
Newcastle's plight is a major change in fortunes for the club as last season Pardew guided them to fifth - their best finish in eight years.