Newcastle winger Damien Duff says the club are facing a relegation battle after a miserable run of results.
Duff has struggled for form like the rest of team-mates
The Magpies have taken just two points from a possible 12 since Kevin Keegan took over as manager and are just six points off the relegation places.
"We are in a fight. Relegation hasn't been mentioned in team-talks because we are trying to stay positive.
"But anyone who has got half a brain can see we need to pick up points, and the sooner the better," said Duff.
Newcastle, who were beaten 4-1 by Aston Villa on Saturday, last won a Premier League game on 15 December when they beat Fulham under former boss Sam Allardyce.
Their next match is on 23 February against Manchester United, who recently beat them 6-0 at Old Trafford.
"We have got a lot of work to do," added Duff. "We are way off what Newcastle United expects.
"It's probably a good thing we haven't got a game as it gives us two weeks to work on the training ground."
Keegan has admitted the club are precariously placed and has targeted the 40-point mark that should be enough to avoid the drop.
"We are fragile," he said after the loss to Villa. "I believe we have enough to be a Premier League club next season but I'm under no illusions that we need to get to the 40-point mark.
"I have a big challenge. It's not a case of me coming in and waving a magic wand but it's down to me to solve it."
He added: "These players have taken a lot of knocks. We need spirit and togetherness."
Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton could be in trouble with the Football Association after allegedly taking a swing at Villa's Shaun Maloney.
The incident was not seen by referee Lee Mason and BBC Sport understands the FA is set to look at the video evidence before making a decision.
Barton only returned to action recently after spending a week remanded in prison on assault and affray charges, followed by a spell on bail at the Sporting Chance clinic in Hampshire.