Wigan.

The North East club were winless since October heading into the fixture, losing their previous four league encounters.

This poor form had increased the feeling of pressure in the dressing room and Krul admitted after the game that the win was sorely needed:

“It’s a massive win for us,” he told SkySports.

“Tonight we knew we needed three points. The pressure was on us.”

The St James’ Park-based outfit have struggled with misfortune so far this term, but got a slice of luck in the 13th minute of the tie when Maynor Figueroa received a red card.

Krul confessed that they were fortunate to see their opponents reduced to ten men, but that it was about time that they received some luck:

“I don’t think we’ve had many breaks this season. We’ve lost a lot of players to injuries and luck has not been on our side.

“But I think we put a lot of effort in and I think we can be proud and take a lot of confidence out of that.

“It’s been hard. Injuries and losing games – it’s a new experience for us especially as we had a great season last season.

“We’re coping well – we need to stick together and I think tonight we showed what a quality team we are.

“We needed this.”

Demba Ba opened the scoring with a well-struck penalty, before doubling the lead after 20 minutes with a tap in.

Youngster Gael Bigirimana completed the scoring late on with a curling effort.

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