Georginio Wijnaldum: United Newcastle can win most Premier League games
Midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is convinced Newcastle can beat almost anyone if they play as a team.
The 25-year-old Holland international played the starring role in the 2-0 victory over Liverpool on December 6 which launched the three-game unbeaten Barclays Premier League run the Magpies will take into the Boxing Day clash with Everton at St James' Park.
Steve McClaren's men were denied a third successive win by struggling Aston Villa, who left Tyneside with a 1-1 draw last Saturday evening, but Wijnaldum is confident the penny had dropped inside the dressing room.
He said: "If we play as a team and fight hard and play our football where it's possible, we can win most games in the Premier League. That includes Everton, although it will be a difficult match.
"Everton are better than Aston Villa and have a lot of good players, so it will be tough, but if we do it as a team, anything is possible."
Back-to-back victories over the Reds and away at Tottenham eased Newcastle out of the relegation zone, but with Norwich and Bournemouth in particular also enjoying notable successes in recent weeks, they remain too close for comfort to the bottom three.
In the circumstances, a home draw with rock-bottom Villa came as something of a disappointment, although like McClaren, the players have been able to look at the bigger picture since the game.
Wijnaldum said: "If you'd said that we would beat Liverpool and Tottenham at the beginning of that run, people would have said you were crazy. We have to be happy after the results in the last three games. It's good for us.
"That said, we were disappointed not to beat Aston Villa and make it three wins. I was disappointed because I thought we had the chance to win the game. We fought to win it, but missed out.
"But that's football - sometimes you will miss chances and sometimes you will score. Sometimes you will miss easy chances, then score the difficult ones."
McClaren is looking for his players to respond once again to ensure that the recent improvement does not prove to be another false dawn.
The 54-year-old said: "We've had this two or three times where we've thought, 'This is it now, we can really kick on' and take the performances and the results and go forward, and then we've dropped back.
"We've got another opportunity on Boxing Day, a tougher opponent - a really tough opponent - but we believe on our day with everything right, we can win any game."