DEANDRE YEDLIN admits Newcastle United have taken a backward step at the wrong time in the promotion race - even if they still have a Premier League return in their own hands.
A failure to win any of their last three matches has slightly opened the door for Reading and Huddersfield to think about catching the second-placed Magpies.
But Newcastle - who had three players named in the PFA team of the year for the championship yesterday - could still clinch promotion back to the top-flight on Monday, depending on how Huddersfield do against Fulham tomorrow.
Already-promoted Brighton can win the title tonight with a victory at Norwich. There is a feeling Newcastle should still be clear and out of sight by now but a recent blip has raised a bit of nervous tension.
Yedlin accepts the dip in form has increased doubts, although he is still satisfied they can finish the job off in the remaining three games.
The American said: "I don't think we have fear but I'm not exactly sure where this blip has come from. We need to figure it out quickly and we will do that on the training field with the manager.
"It's been a bit of a backwards step, everyone has their ups and downs. Unfortunately right now we're going through a bit of a down period but we need to get back up quickly and we'll do everything we can to do that."
Monday's defeat at Ipswich was an indication of the problems Newcastle are encountering with missed chances at one end proving costly with defensive weaknesses at the other.
Yedlin said: "The positive thing is it's in our own hands but anything can happen. We need to be prepared, we need to come out ready from the get-go and get all three points.
"It's very disappointing, I just didn't think we came out strong enough at Ipswich. It wasn't a good enough performance from each and every player - we all take responsibility.
"There's nothing we can do about it now other than look forward and prepare for the next game."
Yedlin returned to the team ahead of Vurnon Anita at Portman Road. He is satisfied he is fit enough after recent injury to stay in the side as Rafael Benitez plots a way to overcome Preston this Monday.
Yedlin said: "He told us we need to get ready for the next game, because now is a time where we need to stick together and focus.
"Every game in the Championship is a tough game, so we're prepared for that. Hopefully we can get the result we need out of this one."
He added: "I'm feeling pretty good. I can get sharper but fitness-wise I feel pretty good.
"It's been frustrating being sidelined because you always want to be playing, but now I'm back and I will do everything I can to help the team reach our goal."
Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles was joined in the PFA team along with midfielder Jonjo Shelvey and leading scorer Dwight Gayle.