AFTER giving the fight for Premier League survival a much-needed shot in the arm over the weekend, Newcastle United midfielder Mo Diame thinks St James’ Park can provide the base for Rafael Benitez’s side to finish off the job over the next two months.

St James’ was rocking on Saturday, as an impressive Magpies performance earned three points in the battle to stay in the top-flight.

Newcastle have not lost a game on home soil this year, although it was only the second victory in front of their own fans during that period in the league.

However, having made it back-to-back wins at St James’ Park against Manchester United and Southampton, signs of nervousness and frustration have been eased after a disappointing transfer window.

Now Diame, one of the team’s most consistent performers in recent months, feels playing at home could be a real boost with half of the remaining eight fixtures there.

“We have had two very big wins at St James' Park in the last couple of games but we need to make sure we keep going,” said Diame. “This stadium has to be our fortress, with all the fans pushing us in every game - just like they did during the win over Southampton.

“We have to give our best to win these games, we are doing well and must keep doing it."

Newcastle don’t have a game now until March 31 when Huddersfield travel to the North-East in another fixture which carries huge significance at the bottom end of the table.

They then face visits from Arsenal and West Brom while they will hope to have preserved top-flight status long before Chelsea travel to St James’ on the final day on May 13.

Diame said: "I think we had some problems and little details at home that we couldn't sort out for a while. We made mistakes and it cost us some points.

“But we've been working hard on the training ground, correcting these issues, and we are focused to keep making less mistakes going forward.”

Prior to the victories over Manchester United and Southampton, Newcastle had drawn with Burnley, Swansea and Brighton.

But they have started to look more impressive in recent weeks, losing just one of six matches, and beating the Saints was the result of Benitez sending his team out with a more clear directive to attack.

It will now be hoped the extended break does not affect their focus too much, which is why Benitez will take the players to Spain on Thursday and play a friendly against Royal Antwerp over the weekend.

"To be honest it helped us a lot on Saturday that we scored the first goal so early,” said Diame, referring to Kenedy’s opener with 70 seconds on the clock.

“It put away a lot of the pressure and made us just work hard to make sure we made the most of that.

"Other teams know it is very hard when you concede goals against Newcastle this season because we have done well defensively.

"A lot of people may have been criticising us for the way we played against Man City, when we played deep and defended a lot, but it could be important at the end of the season for our goal difference. We are doing well, the team just needs to keep going.”

Newcastle’s recent form has helped ease some of the frustrations felt by the fans after striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored goals for fun since joining Fulham on loan.

He has found the net seven times in eight games for the Cottagers, making them serious promotion contenders, but Benitez still has no regrets about him leaving. The Newcastle boss did not think his work-rate suited the style of play required with the squad he has at his disposal.

Mitrovic is starring for Fulham, though, and full-back Denis Odoi thinks manager Slavisa Jokanovic is using the forward’s strengths wisely and it is getting the best out of him.

Odoi said: "The goals are very important, but he's also a resting point for us when we play it up top.

"I think before [Mitrovic arrived] we couldn't play long balls because we didn't really have a striker who could keep the ball.

"Rui Fonte can keep the ball when you play it to his feet, but he's not as tall. With Mitro you can play a hard ball and he'll still take it down on his chest, so I think that's the difference.

"We can play to him and then we can push up as a team and he puts the ball back to Stefan Johansen or Tom Cairney and runners like Ryan Sessegnon.”