Newcastle can't get carried away
In the end it was a win.
But that didn't stop many Toon fans expressing fears that the late victory at Craven Cottage has merely papered over a few wide cracks.
Had United failed to beat a woeful Fulham side in the capital on Saturday, those with doubts over a squad that is lacking depth and is about to get smaller next month would have been heard loud and clear come the final whistle at the Cottage.
We've already heard that the players are prepared to win ugly this season but even ugly would have been a kind word to describe the performance against Fulham.
Anybody who hadn't watched United or Fulham this season and endured this would agree it looked like two poor sides slugging it out for 90 minutes but unable to find a breakthrough.
That United won the game in stoppage time thanks to Joey Barton's first goal for the club wasn't enough to convince some that Newcastle have turned the corner.
But in keeping with the unpredictability of Newcastle United they could amazingly go into the Christmas period on the back of three wins in a row with doomed Derby next up at Gallowgate.
If Newcastle go out and give it a proper crack of the whip like they did against Arsenal that should result in a scoreline that will not only bolster their inferior goal difference but also send out a message that St James's is stadium to be feared for away teams.
However, should United get embroiled in a tactical battle against the Rams - similar to the Birmingham game - the chances are we could be about to crawl to three points for the third game on the spin with both of our last two matches featuring stoppage time winners.
United though will know they have to raise their level of performance after Fulham regardless of the stats afterwards.
Wins and points are buying Big Sam time at the moment and he still deserves a fair crack of the whip - which means United must back him with decent funds in January.
And on the positive side of things if we beat Derby, and something is seriously wrong if we can't at the second attempt, it would close things down in the scramble for a top six place and leave us with the prospect of coming away from Wigan with a nosebleed as we slowly progress up the Premier League table.
Six points from the next two games isn't a big demand and isn't unrealistic.
But one thing is for certain it is needed desperately.
Indeed Chelsea will almost certainly bring Newcastle crashing back to earth at Stamford Bridge and with tough, tough away games at Manchester United, Arsenal and Aston Villa coming up it will be crunch time again.
Toss into that the fact that we lose four players to the wonderful but extremely badly timed African Nations Cup and you realise there is a heap of hard work ahead of us.