Crystal Palace coach John Salako claims there was “no belief” in the Newcastle side that were hammered 5-1 at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Former winger and now first-team coach Salako revealed the message from the Palace dressing room was to “knock the spirit out of ” the struggling Magpies and they did just that despite falling behind to Papiss Cisse’s 10th-minute opener.
Palace soon hit back though and were leading 2-1 just seven minutes later and from there on in it was one-way traffic as Newcastle’s “heads went down”.
“What we said in the dressing room was ‘listen, let’s not let this side get up. Knock the spirit out of them and then they will go’,” Salako told talkSPORT.
“I feel for Steve (McClaren), you could see him shaking his head afterwards – the frustration; but the team really did let themselves down.
“When they went up they were full of confidence and we still had a belief. To equalise quite quickly knocked the stuffing out of them and you could just see their heads going down. There was no belief.
“It was a complete contrast (to Monday). Alan Pardew said it, we hate playing against Sam Allardyce because they’re dogged. They came with that back five, they’d been working on it, they were just going to frustrate us, make it difficult, keep the crowd quiet.
“And Newcastle didn’t do that. They didn’t earn the right to win that game and in the end they let us walk all over them.
“Steve’s got a tough job – he’s got Liverpool and then Spurs and he’s got to galvanise that squad. It’s all about the spirit, they’ve got to go dogged.
“They’ve got to stop conceding. Three at home against Leicester, you need to shore up the defence and stop them scoring and maybe get a 0-0 or nick one. Once you get a win you can build on that.”