Steve McClaren felt his Newcastle United side put in their worst performance of the season so far in their 3-0 defeat to Leicester City.
Jamie Vardy scored for the 10th consecutive Premier League game to put Leicester ahead before half-time at St James’ Park on Saturday before Leonardo Ulloa and Shinji Okazaki added further goals in the second half to leave Newcastle fourth from bottom, only a point clear of the relegation zone.
A 71st-minute header from Georginio Wijnaldum that was cleared off the line was their only attempt on target in the entire game.
“I think that’s our worst performance of the season,” McClaren said afterwards.
“We talked about it a little bit yesterday – the last five or six games, the level of performance, we’ve seen progression. We’re going to get setbacks along the way, still, before we get that consistency and today was a perfect example of that.
“Granted, I thought the opponents were excellent. It shows the example of a team that a year ago were near the bottom of the league and are now at the top of the league.
“That’s how quickly it can change but it can only change by certain ways, things and performances. Consistency is one; at the moment we’ve not got that.”
McClaren did, however, believe the 19th-minute injury suffered by Cheick Tiote had a big effect on the game.
“It was too open, and losing Cheick was a big blow,” he said. “We felt we controlled it pretty well with Cheick and Vurnon – once we lost that, we didn’t have a lot of options.