Newcastle take on relegation rivals Norwich City in the Premier League this weekend.
The Magpies currently trail their opponents by three points and are in need of the win in order to boost their campaign for survival in the top flight.
Norwich are two points clear of the drop zone, with the final relegation place currently occupied by Sunderland. Newcastle managed to fight back from a goal down to secure a point against Sunderland prior to the international break and their trip to Carrow Road could make or break their season.
Townsend told the Chronicle: “You could have said the derby was the biggest one of all time.
“Now, it’s Norwich and that’s the biggest game of our careers. Then it’ll be the game after that.
“We have eight cup finals to come and we need to treat them like that.
“We need to start picking up points sooner rather than later.”
It feels like so much hinges on this one game. A win could really put the wind in Newcastle's sails and help propel them to safety while a defeat would mean the picture would look very bleak.
It's not all on this game but given that Norwich are a rival to Newcastle's immediate ambitions, they will feel they simply have to take three points off the Canaries at the weekend - who will be confident in their new found solidity which has contributed to a draw against Manchester City, and a win over West Bromwich Albion to move them out of the relegation zone having played a game more than the duo from the North East.