Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce says his team are one of six or seven sides fighting against the Premier League's relegation zone this season.
Newcastle are just three points above the safety zone in 17th after away losses at
with 13 fixtures left to play.
The Magpies welcome on-form Wolves at St James' Park on Saturday night, striving to break the spell of progressive away losses with eighteenth set
taking advantage to close the gap to three points.
Asked if he would take fourth bottom now, head coach Bruce replied:
"Well, whatever we do, we've got to stay in thePremier League
"I'd like to finish a bit higher than that, but for me there are seven teams in it and there has probably been that from the start.
"There are six or seven teams that usually compete at the bottom end and last year we finished top of that table, so our aim is can we do that again?
"That's what I'm trying to aim for and trying to be a little bit realistic. But of course, you're always looking over your shoulder.
"But we're not alone, I must stress this. I just seems as though Newcastle are the only one in it - we are not alone. There are six or seven teams all in and around us who are still nervously looking over their shoulders."
Asked if the season is reaching its decisive point with 13 matches remaining, Bruce said:
"Well, it's certainly coming to the tickly part, that's for sure.
"I always say when the daffodils are up, that's a sign that the real crux part of the season is upon us and if you're at the bottom end where we are, unfortunately...
"There are six or seven. Can we finish above the six or seven? That's the aim and I'm quietly confident we can do that."
Bruce keeps on facing critique from fans - a placard portraying proprietor Mike Ashley holding two joker playing cards with the ex-Manchester United defender's head and the message "
Stop gambling with our club
" showed up at St James' this week - over his player selection and strategies, even though he stays unfazed.
He said: "Did you see Pep Guardiola asked about tactics the other night? His reply to it was, 'We're blessed with a lot of money', and how fitting it was because you can talk about tactics as much as you like, it's all about players."