Nicky Butt accepts that Newcastle are in danger of becoming embroiled in a relegation battle after their fifth defeat in seven top flight fixtures against Sunderland at the weekend.
The Magpies remain second from bottom in the Premier League table and have been on a downward spiral since the acrimonious departure of former boss Kevin Keegan in September.
They will, however, be given another opportunity to get back to winning ways when they face West Brom on Tuesday, a game which Butt believes has taken on added importance.
"We are down there and part of the battle at the moment," said the combative midfielder.
"We started the season on a high. The first three games we started well. It is a rollercoaster - as it is every year here.
"West Brom is a must-win game now. Every game that comes to us now is a must-win.
"The longer you are in there the more desperate you get."
Butt admits that the weekend defeat to their arch-rivals is likely to leave a lasting impression, but hopes victory against the Baggies will provide the perfect tonic.
"There is bound to be a hangover," he added.
"But having a game come so quickly is a big plus."