DEANDRE YEDLIN admits Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat to West Ham was a “reality check”, but the Newcastle United full-back is adamant a first reverse in the space of four matches will not knock his team-mates’ confidence ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Everton.

The Magpies’ three-game winning run came crashing to an end as West Ham’s counter-attacking ripped them apart at St James’, with the defeat plunging Rafael Benitez’s side back to within three points of the relegation zone.

Yedlin accepts Newcastle were second best at the weekend, but claims the competitive nature of the Premier League makes it all but impossible for anyone outside the top three or four clubs to string together a really lengthy winning run.

The odd setback is inevitable, and with tomorrow’s game at Goodison Park pitting United against an Everton side sure to be smarting from Sunday’s dramatic derby defeat to Liverpool, the American full-back will not be spending too much time stewing on what went wrong against West Ham.

“Maybe it was a bit of a reality check,” said Yedlin, who could find himself restored to a wing-back position tomorrow night. “We’ve been on a good run, but it’s like the old saying says, you have to keep your lows high and your highs low.

“You have to stay balanced because, in the Premier League, every single game can bring you back down to earth. You can’t get too worked up about winning, but at the same time, we can’t get too low just because we’ve lost a game.

“Unless you’re one of the absolute top teams, that’s going to happen. That’s just the way it is. The confidence is still there, it hasn’t disappeared just because we’ve lost a game, and now we just need to move forward.”

That said, though, with the matches coming thick and fast between now and New Year, December is the worst possible time to encounter a sticky patch.

By the time Newcastle host Manchester United on January 2, 21 points will have been up for grabs in the space of four weeks, and the league table could look markedly different by the time the third round of the FA Cup rolls around on the first weekend of 2019.

Last year, the Magpies arrested a poor December run with a priceless away win at West Ham two days before Christmas, and with games against Wolves, Huddersfield and Fulham following tomorrow’s trip to Merseyside, the next couple of weeks could be crucial to Newcastle’s chances of claiming a comfortable mid-table slot.

“It’s a really important time of the year,” said Yedlin. “Last season, our performances either side of Christmas had a big effect on where we finished in the table.

“Because there are so many games, it can go one of two ways this time of year. Either you get in a bit of a rut and it gets hard to get out of, or things go well and you really get on a roll.

“We’re obviously hoping it’s the latter of those two, and it’s up to us to make that happen. We’ll keep the confidence high. There’s no reason to put our heads down or get negative about things. We’ve been playing well, and we’re looking forward to Wednesday.

“Going to Everton will be tough, but going to Burnley on a Monday night was tough too.

“People probably didn’t expect us to win there, but we did, so we’ve certainly not going anything to fear about going to Everton.”