Newcastle United manager John Carver has told the Shields Gazette that he was happy with his back-four's performance against Sunderland.
Newcastle may have lost the fixture 1-0, but Carver still saw some positives in what was a hugely disappointing defeat for the side.
He says that the makeshift back-line that he selected all performed well, but they were let down by other members of the team.
“What I will say is I thought the back four – which was a makeshift back four – had a right go. Now that’s all I’m asking for," he said.
“That should be a given, playing for this football club. That’s what the people in the stands expect, and our back four have to take a little bit of credit for that.
“But the other units – the midfield unit and the frontmen – there was no movement, no running off the ball, no working back in, and I can’t understand that."
Newcastle were forced to play with Ryan Taylor, who is still looking to get match sharpness after coming back from a long-term injury, at right-back and Daryl Janmaat in at centre-back against their near neighbours, but whether any of the team deserved any credit for their performance against Sunderland is open for debate.
Newcastle put in an insipid performance against the Black Cats and they were well beaten in the end, after rarely threatening.
Indeed, the defeat could have been heavier had Steven Fletcher been more clinical in front of goal and Newcastle will realise that they have plenty to work on after a humbling loss.
The Magpies have won just two of the 13 games that Carver has been in-charge of and even he has admitted to the Shields Gazette that they could get dragged into a relegation fight unless performances improve.