Jonas Gutierrez has urged his Newcastle team-mates to work harder following their recent slump in form.
A run of one win in seven games has seen the Magpies slip to just two points above the relegation zone.
The story is better in Europe, where qualification for the knockout phase of the Europa League was achieved with a game to spare.
The Argentinian accepts that following up last season's fifth-place finish in the league has been a tough task.
"We have done a great job in the Europa League to qualify for the next round but it has been hard in the league," Gutierrez admitted to the Daily Mail.
"The team has deserved to win the last three games and we have players back now, which is important.
"Maybe we had more luck last year and we have to refocus and work hard to get results now. The fans have to be patient and believe in the team."
The 29-year-old midfielder also reflected on his decision to stay on Tyneside following relegation from the Premier League.
"When you look at the past you realise maybe things happen for a reason," he added.
"Nobody wants to be relegated but it was the right moment for this club. It might have been the right time to start from zero and have a fresh beginning. It was a hard time but look where we are now.
"For me, the biggest thing at that time was when I spoke with Diego Maradona, who was national manager, he told me it didn't matter where I played as long as I was playing."
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