Loic Remy alleviated some of the pressure on manager Alan Pardew as his double helped Newcastle to a 2-1 win at Cardiff.
The French striker took his tally to five goals in his past three appearance as he produced two excellent first-half finishes to put the Magpies in control at Cardiff City Stadium.
The visitors surrendered the initiative after the break as Cardiff, inspired by substitute Jordan Mutch, pulled a goal back from Peter Odemwingie but they could not find a leveller.
The abject first-half display in Monday's defeat at Everton had further increased speculation over Pardew's future and, despite this win, he must again be wondering how his side can turn in such different performances in two halves of the same game.
During the first half there was no lack of commitment or bite, with the outstanding Yohan Cabaye marshalling a midfield which enjoyed complete control in the middle of the park.
But they could so easily have undone all their good work as they took their foot off the gas after the break, although they did not ultimately pay for it.
From the first whistle Cardiff had looked ill at ease dealing with Papiss Cisse and Remy.
Cisse failed to control a lovely floated ball from Davide Santon when he should have done better, before Fraizer Campbell slipped as he rounded Tim Krul, after the goalkeeper failed to gather a punt forward.
That was as close as Cardiff came in the opening 45 minutes, as they spent much of the rest of the half on the back foot.
Remy almost opened the scoring when the ball fell to him after a goalmouth scramble, but David Marshall made a superb stop to deny him, before tipping over Moussa Sissoko's rising strike.