A double from Alan Shearer led Newcastle to a comfortable win against Wigan after the Magpies had suffered an early setback.
Alan Shearer celebrates his first-half penalty against Wigan
The home side found themselves behind after just five minutes when Jimmy Bullard curled in a free-kick.
However, Shearer scored a penalty after a foul on Michael Chopra and Titus Bramble's header made sure they went in at half-time ahead.
Shearer then raced through to net after the interval.
The returning Kieron Dyer had looked lively before the visitors took the lead in the fifth minute.
Bullard and Graham Kavanagh were involved in a fairly heated discussion about who was going to take the free-kick 25 yards out.
But Bullard followed up his conviction with his action as Shay Given misread his curler and was left stranded as his right-foot shot flew into the corner.
Paul Jewell would have been more confident of holding onto the lead had he not had to substitute defenders Matthew Jackson and Arjan De Zeeuw, who both went off injured.
Newcastle were affected by injuries of their own as Lee Bowyer's afternoon lasted only eight minutes and Chopra made an early entrance in place of Shola Ameobi.
The home side came out of the carnage in better shape and got back on terms with a penalty in the 28th minute.
Chopra was bundled over by Reto Ziegler and Shearer smashed the ball past John Filan, who had dived the wrong way.
Only a last-ditch tackle from substitute Leighton Baines prevented Chopra from applying the finishing touch to Dyer's cross but no Wigan defender was in sight when Bramble finally did.
The much-maligned central defender had the freedom of the penalty area when Noberto Solano swung in a corner and he planted his header firmly into the net.
The Magpies then went on to dominate the second period and managed to increase their lead when Shearer added his second.
The former England striker timed his run perfectly and Chopra slipped the ball through and he applied the simplest of finishes after rounding Filan.
Newcastle acting manager Glenn Roeder:
"It was a tough game for us and it was nice to come back from a goal down because we haven't done that for quite a while.
"We played some very good football and I think we thoroughly deserved the 3-1 win.
"While European football is there to aim for, then why not? West Ham won today but there are still four games to go so it's game on."
Wigan manager Paul Jewell:
"We were always going to be up against it when we lost two centre halves but it was disappointing to concede the second goal, which was a free header.
"We started brightly but it wasn't to be. I certainly couldn't fault the lads for effort.
"We have not had a great six or seven weeks but we have earned the right to be in this division next season."
Newcastle: Given, Carr, Bramble, Moore, Elliott, Solano, Dyer (Clark 75), Bowyer (Faye 8), N'Zogbia, Shearer, Ameobi (Chopra 18).
Subs Not Used: Harper, Ramage.
Booked: Elliott, Moore.
Goals: Shearer 28 pen, Bramble 36, Shearer 66.
Wigan: Filan, Chimbonda, Jackson (Baines 20), De Zeeuw (Scharner 17), Ziegler, Thompson, Kavanagh, Bullard, McCulloch (Camara 44), Johansson, Roberts.
Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Teale.
Booked: Baines, Kavanagh, Scharner.
Goals: Bullard 5.
Ref: U Rennie (S Yorkshire).