Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini is urging his team-mates to keep manager Joe Kinnear in their thoughts as they attempt to claw their way out of relegation trouble.
The Magpies boss was due to undergo triple heart bypass surgery on Friday which will keep him away from the training ground and the dug-out for at least two months.
But having seen his team respond in the perfect fashion just hours after the 62-year-old was taken to hospital by beating West Brom 3-2 last weekend, Coloccini said: "Beating West Brom was also important because we wanted to win for Joe Kinnear. When somebody is out of action like that, you need to show that you remember them, and winning is our way of doing that."
Assistants Chris Hughton and recent recruit Colin Calderwood have been put in charge of team affairs in Kinnear's absence, and owner Mike Ashley will hope a series of positive results will mean he does not have to launch a hunt for another boss before the end of a campaign which has lurched from one crisis to another.
The win at the Hawthorns ended a run of six league games without a victory and eased the club into 13th place in the table.
However, they remain just four points above the drop zone with a desperately difficult run of fixtures ahead of them - Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea are due to follow the Toffees to St James' Park in their next four home games.
But Argentina international Coloccini believes a fighting spirit has been fostered under Kinnear in recent weeks.
He said: "Hopefully we will look back on that day at the end of the season and feel it was the turning point.
"The other good thing is that we have had a break before the next game, so we can think about the errors we made as well. We know what wasn't good about the game and now we can train harder.
"We showed fight against West Brom. There were lots of goals, but we managed to emerge as the winners. Beating West Brom was very important for us."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms