Newcastle recorded its first Premier League win in six matches by beating 10-man Wigan 3-0 on Monday after two goals by Demba Ba and another from Gael Bigirimana.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew had been under pressure with his injury-hit team winning only one league match since he signed an eight-year contract extension in late September to sit just two points above the relegation zone.
But his players responded to the 12th-minute dismissal of Wigan defender Maynor Figueroa for fouling Papiss Cisse in the box in a contentious decision with the players appearing to be shoulder to shoulder.
''It was nice to get a break - and I think it was a break, I'm not a great lover of that rule with the penalty and the sending off,'' Pardew said. ''But at the time I thought it was a penalty, the defender lifts his arm at the end of the challenge. The referee had a tough decision to make, but I think it was a penalty and obviously it put us in a great position.''
Ba converted the resulting pena...