Head coach Steve McClaren is encouraged by Newcastle United's performances despite Saturday's 2-1 away defeat by Watford ending a mini-revival.
The Magpies travelled to Vicarage Road on the back of a draw with Manchester United and a win against West Ham United in home Premier League games.
However, a 12th defeat of the campaign kept Newcastle in the relegation zone.
"I'd be really worried if we weren't competing, but I'm not," McClaren told BBC Newcastle.
"It's because of what we're giving. There are enough chances, enough good play.
"We've taken two steps forward and we wanted to take another but we've missed that opportunity.
"At some stage before the end of the season we've got to start taking it."
Only two teams have conceded more Premier League goals than the Tyneside club's 41, while going forward their tally of 25 goals is among the fewest in the division.
Gini Wijnaldum, a midfielder, has been United's key source of goals with nine, while within the strikers Ayoze Perez has five, Aleksandar Mitrovic four and Papiss Cisse two.
"We've got to stop conceding goals and start scoring goals at the other end, which is easily said," added McClaren.
"That's why Watford are doing well. It's quality at both ends. At the moment quality is not consistent enough to get results."