Krul spurred on by derby defeat
Goalkeeper Tim Krul has attributed Newcastle's blistering run of form to their gut-wrenching derby defeat at Sunderland.
Alan Pardew and his players suffered the disappointment of losing 2-1 at the Stadium of Light on October 27, one of only two Premier League games their arch rivals have won to date this season.
However, as they headed into Saturday afternoon's home clash with Southampton, they had taken maximum points from five of the subsequent six matches, including victories over Chelsea at home and Tottenham and Manchester United on the road, to climb to within three points of a Champions League place.
Talking to Absolute Radio's Rock 'N' Roll Football at an EA Sports FIFA 14 event, Krul said: "It was unacceptable, obviously, to lose the derby, everybody knew that.
"But I think it was a shake-up and a wake-up call for us that we really had to kick on and prove everybody wrong - and we did.
"We reacted great and we are right back up the table where we should be.
"Derby games are massively important. They're obviously major games, but they are not season-defining. I don't agree with that, because the games come thick and fast.
"The Premier League is a busy schedule, so you can't really think about the last game too long."
Newcastle's recent surge has rekindled hopes of European qualification, something which proved costly for the club last season as they struggled to cope with the twin demands of their domestic and Europa League commitments.
However, Krul is refusing to look any further ahead than the next game.
The 25-year-old Holland international said: "To be honest, we can't look too far ahead. I think game by game is what we have to do because there are so many games week in week out, you can't look too far ahead.
"We definitely deserve to be where we are at the moment, and hopefully we can stick around."
In the longer term, Krul will hope his club form will win him a seat on the plane to next summer's World Cup finals in Brazil and help him to fulfil a boyhood dream.
He said: "I'm hopefully on that plane. It is a major World Cup to look forward to.
"I have to finish this season off properly with Newcastle first and hopefully it gives me a chance to play.
"Of course it's something you dream of as a young boy, so I'm looking forward to the challenge."