Jamaal Lascelles believes that nobody can question his team's work ethic after their narrow defeat against Leeds United.
The Newcastle United skipper came close to scoring twice against Leeds but the Magpies were beaten 2-1 on Tyneside and now face a tough trip to Everton on Saturday afternoon.
Lascelles has recovered from Covid and accepts that no wins in 11 games represents a difficult spell.
Lascelles said: "It's a real disappointment in terms of the result.
"I thought we were the better team and I don't think anyone could question our work ethic.
"We had a lot of chances and it's positive to see.
"We haven't been playing well recently but it was a much better performance.
"We're obviously going through a difficult spell at the minute.
"In terms of the last seven or eight games, performances have not been not good.
"I can honestly say today was a step in the right direction."