Newcastle manager Alan Shearer has finally witnessed a degree of belief in his players that they can survive the drop this season.
The Magpies should have been dead and buried by the time Gateshead-born striker Andy Carroll scored an 81st-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Stoke to give Shearer his first point since taking charge.
"They showed they can pass it, they can play, and with a little bit more confidence and belief in themselves then we will go on and get results - certainly that's the aim," said Shearer.
Stoke captain and former Magpies midfielder Abdoulaye Faye's 33rd-minute opener came in a first half dominated by Tony Pulis' side.
City spurned further chances at the start of the second period, and when it became apparent the home side would not kill off the game, Shearer made the change that brought its reward.
10 minutes after Carroll's arrival, the 20-year-old scored a fine header that moves Newcastle within two points of safety, even if they remain in the bottom three.
Shearer, who concedes he is finding management "anything but easy", said: "The attitude of the players has been great.
"In the second half I thought they showed me what they had done in training during the week.
"After going a goal down I thought they handled the situation well because there have been too many times this season when Newcastle have conceded a goal, then crumbled and conceded another.
"But it was far from that as you saw players throwing their bodies on the line, throwing themselves into tackles and prepared to get cut."
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