Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul hopes the "massive" win over Wigan can kick-start his side's season.
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Demba Ba scored twice, the first from a disputed penalty which saw the Latics' Maynor Figueroa sent off, before Gael Bigirimana's first senior goal rounded off a 3-0 win.
It ended a run of four straight defeat for the Magpies and Krul told Sky Sports 1: "It's a massive win for us, we knew we needed the three points. The pressure was on but the intensity we had at Stoke, we did that again and started really well.
"We must be proud, we can take a lot of confidence from this - we needed this. I think tonight we showed what a quality team we are."
The possibly fortunate penalty award, after Figueroa tangled with Papiss Cisse, undoubtedly went a long way towards shaping the game but Krul said: "I don't think we've had many breaks this season, we've lost a lot of players to injuries and luck has not been on our side.
"It has been hard, so many injuries and losing games is a new experience for us, especially after last season, but we need to stick together."
Bigirimana announced himself to the St James' Park faithful in spectacular style with a curling, dipping left-foot drive from 20 yards and admitted he had been overwhelmed in the immediate aftermath.
He said: "Me and Papiss were planning to dance if we scored but it was my first goal ever as a professional and I just gave thanks to God."
He added: "It's hard to come to a new club as a young player but you've got to step up - the manager bought us so he trusts us."
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew shared his goalkeeper's opinion that the penalty represented an overdue slice of luck
"It was nice to get a break - and I think it was a break, I'm not a great lover of that rule with the penalty and the sending-off.
"But at the time I thought it was a penalty, the defender lifts his arm at the end of the challenge. The referee had a tough decision to make, but I think it was a penalty and obviously it put us in a great position."
Ba left the field injured late in the game but Pardew said: "I don't think he was too bad at the end, he said he felt a bit of soreness and we had to take him off."
A greater worry is Ba's contract, which still contains a release clause which could see him leave the club for a cut-price fee in January.
And Pardew said: "The situation has never changed, Demba loves it here and understands it's a football city.
"We've tried to do a deal and take the clause out, we've not managed it yet so it's always there hanging over us and that makes it difficult for me, for Demba and the club."
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez was understandably frustrated at the penalty decision but reacted calmly.
He told Sky Sports 1: "It became a very, very difficult game in 10 minutes, giving up a two-goal cushion and a man down.
"But you will get adversity in football and I'm proud of our reaction in the second half, we never gave up or felt sorry for ourselves.
"It was a big decision, I think he needed to be certain about a decision like that.
"The ball was between the two players, Maynor Figueroa is entitled to challenge for that ball and I thought it was shoulder-to-shoulder. It was a fair race and both players challenged for the ball.
"You expect the defender to be strong and the striker to go down easily. I think a penalty and a red card is too much punishment, I thought it was harsh."