DEANDRE YEDLIN is hoping last season’s surge up the Premier League table will stand Newcastle United in good stead as they look to stage another successful survival push this term.

The Magpies find themselves in 19th position after failing to win any of their opening ten league games, and host in-form Watford on Saturday hoping to close the three-point gap that currently separates them from the safety zone.

Last season, Rafael Benitez’s side finished in tenth place, but their top-half finish does not tell the whole story of a campaign that saw them flirt with the relegation positons on a number of occasions.

When Newcastle lost at Arsenal last December, they slipped into the bottom three, and having helped his side stage an impressive recovery in the second half of last season, Yedlin is hoping he and his team-mates can draw on their experiences to produce similar surge up the table in the next few weeks.

“We've been in a bad situation before,” said the full-back, who was one of his side’s better performers in last weekend’s goalless draw at Southampton. “We know what we need to do to get out of it. We've got the characteristics to get out of it. We'll try to put those into place and do what need to do to get out of this hole.”

Clearly, Newcastle’s failure to record a single victory this season is a major worry. However, it is possible to draw at least a little encouragement from the way in which they have remained competitive in almost all of their matches.

The 2-0 home defeat to Leicester City is the only time Newcastle have lost by more than a one-goal margin this term, and their tally of 14 goals conceded is fewer than Manchester United and the same as Everton, both of whom are in the top half of the table.

Scoring goals is an issue – Huddersfield Town are the only Premier League side to have scored fewer goals than Newcastle – and in the wake of Saturday’s stalemate at St Mary’s, Benitez admitted he was concerned at his side’s lack of success in the final third.

Restoring Salomon Rondon to the starting line-up could be one way of trying to address the issue, but Yedlin claims there is no need for a radical shake-up.

The American does not think Newcastle are too far away from embarking on a winning run, and insists it is important to stick with the approach and beliefs that proved so successful in the second half of last season.

“That’s been the frustrating thing this season,” he said. “We’ve been quite close on multiple occasions. It's just a matter of keeping the faith and keeping believing.

“We just have to keep working on our game - that's all we can do. Stay positive. Nobody's ever got out of a tough situation by being negative. We've got to stay positive, and keep the fans behind us. Luckily, they been loyal to us and stayed behind us even in these tough times. We have to give praise to them for that as well.”

Saturday’s result lifted Newcastle off the foot of the table, and while it is obviously a concern that they went through the entire 90 minutes without recording a single shot on target, their defensive performance augurs well for their survival hopes.

Every member of the Magpies’ back four impressed, with Federico Fernandez and Jamaal Lascelles combining to shut out Charlie Austin and Danny Ings, and both Yedlin and his fellow full-back, Paul Dummett, working tirelessly on their respective flanks.

Martin Dubravka provided a watertight last line of defence when he was called upon, and unlike in some previous seasons, when Newcastle’s goalkeeping position could be regarded as a weakness, the Slovakian’s presence is a major source of strength.

Defensively, Newcastle look superior to the vast majority of their rivals in the bottom half of the table, and Yedlin claims it is important to have a reliable defence to build from if you are looking to turn around a poor run of form.

“We’re definitely defensively sound,” he said. “There were times (at Southampton) when we were under a lot of pressure. It can get like that away from home sometimes, but I thought we had a great attitude defensively, and put in the graft that we needed to keep a clean sheet.

“I thought the attitude was good from the team. The most important thing was that we got a clean sheet and dug in and did what we needed to do to defend. We got a point away from home, which could be vital.

“The clean sheet gives us something to build on, 100 per cent. I think we can draw confidence from the game and take positives from it, and also recognise what we need to work on and use it for the next game.”

Meanwhile, former Newcastle striker Nile Ranger is training with Oxford United as he looks to secure a return to the professional game.

Ranger, who left Newcastle in 2013, has been looking for a new club since his release from League One side Southend United in January because of disciplinary issues.