KEVIN Davies says Wanderers will need to be more ruthless in front of goal when they resume their survival mission against Swansea a week on Saturday.
Smarting after suffering two defeats in the space of three days over Easter, the Whites have a break this weekend due to Tottenham’s involvement in the FA Cup.
That, Davies believes, should give them the opportunity to rest and return fresher for a six-match run-in that will decide their Premier League fate.
But the skipper, who made a bitter-sweet return to the starting line-up at Newcastle on Monday, admits the task will be more difficult if he and his fellow attackers don’t improve their strike rate.
Reflecting on the numerous missed chances that cost them any chance of banking points on Tyneside, where they lost 2-0, Davies said: “We need to get a bit more ruthless.
“Their goalkeeper made two excellent saves (from Chris Eagles and Mark Davies), and when Martin (Petrov) put one great ball across the box, neither I nor Darren Pratley could get our toe to it.
“It’s difficult to take, but we have to try and gain some positives because for 75 minutes we were well in the game and unfortunate not to be in the lead.
“It’s another opportunity gone. We were playing against a side high in confidence, and we restricted them to very few chances. I don’t think Adam (Bogdan) had a lot to do.
“We created a few fantastic chances, and if we’d taken one of them it would have given us that boost. The worst we would have had then would have been a point.
“It’s hard to take when you feel like you have played so well but come away with nothing again.”
Wanderers, who boosted their survival hopes with three successive wins before Saturday’s demoralising 3-0 home defeat by Fulham, could be back in the bottom three by the time they take on Brendan Rodgers’ Swans. But Davies believes a weekend off will help them prepare.
“It’s important now that we have a break, rest up a little bit and come back for a massive home game,” he added.
“We'll see how the results go in the next couple of days but I still think we need to take care of our own business in the last six games.
hopefully results will go our way. We don't want to be relying on other people.
“We're out of it (the bottom three) at the minute but by the time the Swansea game comes around we know the table might look a little worse for us.
“We know it's going to be tight and that it might possibly go to the last game. But we have to stick together as a team and make sure we do enough to get out of it come the end of the season.
“We've shown before that we can win the games we absolutely have to, and we will again.”
On the personal front, Davies was happy to be back in the starting line-up at Newcastle - only his second league start since the turn of the year - and although unable to influence the result, he produced a performance that should give Owen Coyle a selection headache when he turns his attention to Swansea.
“I want to be playing.” said the 35-year-old club captain. “If you're on the bench you want to get on and make an impression, and if you're starting then you want to stay in there.
“It was great to get a start and lead the boys. I enjoyed getting back because it's been a while.
“We'll see what happens, whether I stay in the side, and hopefully I can lead us again to an important win the next time we play.”