Tim Krul says Newcastle need to show they are “real men” after being beaten by Sheffield Wednesday’s “Championship long-ball” tactics.
The Magpies’ wretched start to the season continued on Wednesday night when a much-changed Wednesday team won their Capital One Cup third-round clash at St James’ Park.
The cup exit and their dismal performance has piled added pressure on Steve McClaren, who is still looking for his first Premier League win since taking over as manager in the summer.
But Krul admits the players have to take their share of the blame for the team’s woes.
“We need to be better than that, as a team and individually,” the goalkeeper told the club’s official website after the Wednesday defeat.
“Everybody has to look at themselves in the mirror and ask if they gave everything. If not, they have to start straight away, because what we are doing at the moment is really not good enough.
“A couple of players put in good performances but there were also some really bad ones.
“The team we put out was more than good enough to win this game, and they didn’t really trouble us. But if you don’t score, you give them hope. That’s what we did and they took advantage.
“The goal was just a long ball which dropped down and the shot got a deflection to take it in. That’s their game – the Championship long ball – but we knew that and should have dealt with it so much better.”
Krul believes Newcastle’s goalscoring woes are due to a lack of belief.
“It’s confidence,” he said.
“We are doing alright in some areas but the end product just isn’t there.
“You have to be honest enough to say that we are getting up there and playing some good stuff to get there, but it’s all about the final quality in the final third, which just isn’t happening.
“I’m not just blaming the forwards though because we need to look at the whole team. Defensively we haven’t been on top form yet – nobody has been.
“Everybody needs to grow now. We need to come out and show we are real men.
“Chelsea and Manchester City are two massive games and we have to show that we’ve got the fight for it.”
Newcastle were booed off by the home fans who made up the majority of the 33,986 crowd at St James’ Park on Wednesday night, but Krul praised the support offered by the Toon Army.
“They were behind us again,” he said.
“A lot of them turned up and I really appreciated it because it could have been easy for them to stay at home, especially with the way things have been.
“Everything was there to beat Sheffield Wednesday and do well in this cup but we didn’t, and we let the fans down.
“We have to try and turn it around on Saturday against Chelsea, with 50,000 Geordies being that extra man that we really need right now. Hopefully they will give us the confidence and lift we need.
“We need them behind us but we need to show them something, too, and give them something to shout about. It’s a two-way street.
“Saturday is a new game and we have to show the fans fight and passion, and everybody needs to put in a proper performance.”