John Carver has accused his Newcastle players of lacking effort against certain teams.
This season, the Magpies have performed well against big teams but collapsed against the lesser sides, and Carver has told the Chronicle that he has asked his squad the question of why that has happened.
“I have asked the same question,” the head coach said. “There has to be a reason as to why this happens. Every game you should be trying to win, whether it’s the bottom side or the top.
“We shouldn’t have to be playing a top team in order for us to perform. We should be trying to beat whoever we play.”
The Toon have recorded impressive results over the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, but have then gone on to drop points to Sunderland and Stoke City.
There is a clear disparity in the performance levels of the Magpies squad regarding who the opposition is, and it is strange to see such a big difference on consecutive matchdays.
Obviously, the want to defeat Chelsea - who at that point had yet to lose a game - would be large, but so should the want to defeat the teams who sit around you - especially for a team who are fighting to steer clear of relegation.
The Tyneside club have six games left to secure their Premier League status, including ties with Liverpool, Spurs and Swansea City.
Following those three games, the Magpies face Leicester, West Brom, QPR and West Ham - three of whom are fighting relegation themselves.
If Newcastle want to have any chance of staying in the top flight they will need to overcome their mentality problems, as securing results against their fellow strugglers will be vital in keeping their Premier League status.