Newcastle United were dumped out of the Capital One Cup by Sheffield Wednesday in midweek.
Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren has revealed to the Yorkshire Post that he has told his players they cannot feel sorry for themselves, after they were dumped out of the Capital One Cup by Sheffield Wednesday.
The Championship side went to St. James' Park and won 1-0 thanks to a Lewis McGugan strike, and the result heaps more pressure on the Magpies players and coaching staff after a hugely disappointing start to the 2015/16 campaign.
However, McClaren insists that his team cannot afford to go into their shell and has challenged them to come out fighting, with a Premier League contest with Chelsea next on their schedule.
“We have said to the players, ‘You can’t feel sorry for yourselves. You have got to come out on Saturday and be a fighter or a victim’, and it’s one or the other, and we can only have fighters on there now," he explained.
“We say how far do we have to go before we turn it around, because the players are capable of doing that. We can’t talk about it, we have to do it.
“There’s not a lot you can say. There are no excuses - back in tomorrow morning, Chelsea Saturday, it’s the fighting mentality we need.”
Newcastle's defeat to Wednesday would have been a frustrating one under any circumstances, but with the team struggling so badly in the Premier League, it was a crucial match.
As a result, it is extremely worrying that the Magpies looked so far off the pace, and were beaten by what was effectively Wednesday's second-string.
The Owls made 10 changes from the team which had started against Fulham last weekend, but they were still too good for Newcastle and could have won by a greater margin.
Newcastle's attention now returns to league matters, but with games against Chelsea and Manchester City on the horizon, only a dramatic upturn in performance levels will see them break out of their slump.