Shola Ameobi provided Newcastle boss Alan Pardew with a timely nudge as he braced himself for a fresh battle to hold on to Demba Ba.
Whether or not signing a striker in January will remain a priority should Ba stay, as his manager would dearly love him to do, remains to be seen, but in the circumstances, Ameobi's match-winning intervention against QPR on Saturday could hardly have come at a more opportune moment.
The 31-year-old said: "It's been frustrating, sitting on the bench every week and watching the lads out there doing their best to try to win. As a player, you want to be involved and help in any way you can. At the moment, that's me coming off the bench and I just have to do what I can."
He went on: "Hopefully, I can make an impact like I did on Saturday. I'm just really delighted that we sent everyone home happy for Christmas."
Ameobi's contribution was the only goal in a contest the Magpies dominated without ever making the pressure tell until the closing stages.
Papiss Cisse's 61st-minute removal, rather than the Nigeria international's introduction, was greeted by boos at St James' Park, but the jeers turned to cheers 20 minutes later when he ran on to fellow substitute Sylvain Marveaux's pass and stepped inside before shooting left footed across keeper Rob Green and into the bottom corner.
Ameobi said: "Sylvain, who has got great vision, spotted me and I managed to cut in and hit the side-netting, so it was nice.
"I haven't scored too many goals this year so far, so it's great to get on the scoresheet and because it was so valuable, it obviously means so much more. I'm really delighted with the finish.
"Obviously, we have been through quite a period of not winning many games, so this game was massive. With the two sides being so close together at the bottom of the table, it was a must-win game.
"There was a huge sigh of relief and we are delighted that we could get all three points."