Hudson led Falcons to their last Premiership win against Gloucester
Newcastle Falcons captain James Hudson says Friday's home Premiership encounter with fellow strugglers Sale Sharks is a 'must win' game.
Falcons are second from bottom of the table, three points clear of Leeds, who lie at the foot and eight points behind Sale, who sit a place above.
"There has to be a performance at home," Hudson told BBC Newcastle.
"It is a must-win for us because of the situation we've found ourselves in and the table the way it stands."
Falcons lost 35-18 in their opening day encounter with Sale at Edgeley Park, the Sharks' first of four wins this season, and the first of eight defeats for Hudson and his team-mates this term.
"You win those games, you get four points and the teams around you don't, you make up ground and increase the ground on teams," he said.
Having had those games cancelled, the excitement factor comes back into it for us
James Hudson on a home return for Newcastle Falcons
"It's simple, it doesn't make the games any more important than the games where you play the top three or four teams in the table, where it doesn't actually affect the position in the table.
"But when you play a team that's near you, as we do on Friday, you might not change the position we're in, but it can definitely change the view of the table."
Alan Tait's side endured a stop-start December, with home Premiership matches against Bath and significantly Leeds postponed because of snow on the surface at Kingston Park.
The loss of those fixtures has left the club without a home league fixture since November's win over Gloucester, with defeats at the hands of Leicester and Wasps on the road.
"When you look at the year so far, and I do when I can't sleep, we have only played four games out of 11 at home in the Premiership," Tait continued.
"Having had those games cancelled, the excitement factor comes back into it for us."