NEWCASTLE manager Alan Pardew believes a home victory against title contenders Manchester City could spark a revival in their Barclays Premier League season.
The Magpies are currently 14th in the overall standings and have only won once in their last 10 games in all competitions, 3-0 at home over strugglers Wigan earlier this month.
They welcome the defending champions to St James' Park tomorrow, but Pardew is not fearing Roberto Mancini's side, who have only triumphed once in their last six games across all competitions.
Pardew admits last weekend's derby defeat by rivals Manchester United will have fired up City, but he does not think they post the same threat as they did last term.
"They were definitely the best away team we played last season," Pardew said.
"When they were at home last year they were pretty awesome and we didn't really get a foothold in that game.
"What I do know is they will be pretty much focussed on this game and therefore it probably makes it a shade more difficult. But when you're champions of the Premier League, it's a difficult game full stop.
"We got nothing off them last year but I don't think they are as strong as they were last year coming into this game.
"We are having a tough run, we don't disguise that, but the work ethic is there. One big result, which could happen this weekend, could change a lot of the picture and we could find ourselves in a good position in the league."
Newcastle approach the match on the back of a disappointing 2-1 defeat by Fulham on Monday night.
Pardew remains frustrated his side could not seal a win despite considerable chances at Craven Cottage, with the returning Hatem Ben Arfa scoring his side's only goal.
Ben Arfa is a doubt for tomorrow's match due to a hamstring problem, something which will again derail any kind of continuity in the Newcastle manager's side.
"I am here to tell my team to win and we didn't win (against Fulham) and we came of out the game with nothing," Pardew said.
"Thirty four crosses and seven shots on target away from home should get you close to a victory but we made some errors in that game and we've got to stop it.
"Consistency, injuries and lack of form in some players and we've lacked momentum which carried us through last year.
"When you're winning games it carries you through and you don't have to think about it.
"We have to think long and hard about that game. Perhaps that's restricting us a little bit.
"The work rate is there, that was there for all to see on Monday and in the last three games in particular it has been really high. So that's a good base for us and there's still a strong spirit in the group.
"We face Man City which is a tough game for us but we think we can give them a good game."
The January transfer window is drawing ever closer and Pardew knows he needs to strengthen in key areas.
Extra financial incentives next year for staying in the Premier League are added motivation for making shrewd signings next month.
"On our side we look weak with the injuries we have sustained and we may need to bring in a player or two," Pardew said.
"We are in the market as I'm sure a few other clubs will be. We play QPR next week and I'm sure they will be busy.
"There will be some movement and for all Premier League clubs stability this year is important as the finance does obviously increase."