Newcastle boss Alan Pardew was delighted with the response he got from his team as they dumped Wolves deeper into relegation trouble by easing their own fears.
A 4-1 victory at St James' Park - just their second in 10 Barclays Premier League games - moved the Magpies seven points clear of the drop zone with seven games to go and left Wolves in 19th place. It was exactly what Pardew was looking for after a 4-0 drubbing at Stoke a fortnight earlier.
"If you work for the football club here in Newcastle, football up here is a religion to some people, it really is taken that seriously," he said. "Everywhere we went, we were reminded of how important this fixture was. It wasn't lost on the dressing room, rest assured of that, and we made sure we won the game."
Pardew added: "Harps (goalkeeper Steve Harper) said before we went out, 'Whatever it takes, let's make sure we win this game', and we did that.
"The performance at Stoke just started ringing a few alarm bells. But it was a one-off game at Stoke. It didn't go for us, it didn't work out, but we were back to what we are about here."
First half-goals from skipper Kevin Nolan and striker Shola Ameobi gave the home side a deserved lead at the break, and the game looked to be all over when Peter Lovenkrands added a third with 50 minutes gone.
Wolves rallied after Sylvan Ebanks-Blake pulled one back eight minutes later, but the points were safe when Jonas Gutierrez produced a fine run and finish in injury time to finally kill off the visitors. Newcastle went ninth as a result and, significantly for their fans, edged ahead of derby rivals Sunderland, who play at Manchester City on Sunday
Visiting manager Mick McCarthy was philosophical in defeat, but admitted Nolan's opening goal should have been avoided.
He said: "You saw the Keystone Cops goal we conceded, the first one. It was really poor.
"We know Nolan runs on - it's a good finish when he gets it, but come on, if that happened on Sunday morning when we were watching our kids, you wouldn't be happy about it."
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