Newcastle scored their first win since the departure of striker Andy Carroll on Tuesday, winning 2-0 at Birmingham with a goal in each half from Peter Lovenkrands and Leon Best.
Lovenkrands opened the scoring for the visitors after only two minutes, sliding in to meet a low cross from Jonas Gutierrez at the near post.
Best made sure of the points after pouncing early in the second half as Birmingham crashed to their first defeat in six matches.
Newcastle's Premier League campaign has been blown off course since the stunning 35 million pound transfer of Carroll to Liverpool at the end of the January transfer window.
Alan Pardew's side had picked up only two points from a possible nine since Carroll headed to Anfield.
However, they always had the upper hand over Birmingham on Tuesday, with Jose Enrique marauding effectively down the left flank and midfield duo Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan dominating the middle of the park.
The win sees Newcastle move up one spot in table to 10th, leaving the Magpies within touching distance of a possible European spot.
The defeat left Birmingham hovering just above the drop-zone as they prepare for the League Cup final against Arsenal on February 27.