By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
A beaming Vurnon Anita insisted a first win in six games was Newcastle's reward for continuing to work hard through their barren spell - and felt they warranted a little bit of good fortune along the way.
The Magpies ran out convincing 3-0 victors over Wigan on Monday night but were helped by an early red card for Maynor Figueroa, which resulted in a successful penalty conversion by Demba Ba.
Ba then added a second before Gael Bigirimana scored a stunning third and, having seen his side hit by a whole host of injuries in recent weeks, Anita said it was about time things went United's way for a change.
Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Steven Taylor, Ryan Taylor, Dan Gosling and Haris Vuckic are among the players currently sidelined while Cheick Tiote, Davide Santon and Demba Ba all limped off against the Latics.
And Anita told nufc.co.uk: "If you play good, the luck comes your way. We've had a lot of bad luck this season, and today as well with a couple of injuries. So that's not good but we are happy with the win.
"It was very, very, very important that we got a win, for the confidence and the spirit in the team. We worked hard and finally it's paid off.
"Of course when you lose you're always down but we kept on saying to each other that we must work hard and it will come. Today it was a very good performance and we won our game.
"Against Stoke it was good but we lost; today we changed it and we won. We kept the ball a lot - one, two touches - and if you see the first goal it was a good combination, good one touch and two touch football and then the penalty.
"That was good so we must keep on doing that. We must keep this spirit, keep believing in ourselves and keep the workrate high, like today, then we can make things very difficult and win games."
The final flourish was provided by 19-year-old Bigirimana with his first goal in black and white, and midfield partner Anita was one of the first players to celebrate with the Burundian.
"It was a very, very beautiful goal and we needed it," the Dutchman smiled. "They kept on pressing us with ten men but we kept our shape.
"We broke and got chances and Bigi shot very high in the goal."
It was perhaps Anita's best performance since his August arrival from Ajax and now the 23-year-old - who scored in United's last European away game against Club Brugge - is looking ahead to the final Europa League Group D match away to Bordeaux.
"I feel good in myself," he said. "My condition is good, I feel that my legs are getting used to it, so it's going well.
"We will see what happens (in Bordeaux), but we'll go for the win. Our aim is first place. It doesn't matter who plays - we want to win that game, so we go there full of confidence and will try to win the game."
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