Martin Dubravka calls for players' meeting at Newcastle
Martin Dubravka says Newcastle United's players must have a meeting '“ and be 'honest' about the club's plight.
Rafa Benitez’s winless side are 18th in the Premier League.
Newcastle were beaten 2-0 by Leicester City at St James’s Park on Saturday.
And Dubravka spoke to captain Jamaal Lascelles after the game about the need to get the players together to discuss what can be done to address the team’s form.
“When we were in the dressing room before the game, we all spoke about how much we wanted to win this game,” said the goalkeeper.
“I believe we have enough quality to win games like this, particularly when we’re at home, but we didn’t start well.
“We need to be honest with each other and react differently, because we have an attitude and we have a mentality, but we need to bring it on to the pitch.
“We had spoken a lot about how we react when we concede a goal, but it was almost the same (against Leicester).
“We started the second half well, then conceded a goal, and, after that, didn’t create anything.
“So we need to be honest with each other. I spoke to Jamaal afterwards and said we need to arrange a meeting with all the players. We need to talk honestly and we need to change something.”
Asked what he meant by “reacting differently”, Dubravka said “No one’s happy when you concede a goal of course, but we have to change something if and when it happens.
“For me, personally, I try to support every player on the pitch, even if we’re in a bad position. Even if you’re not playing in the way you would like to play, you always have to give 100%, because this is the Premier League, one of the best leagues in the world.
“So I expect to see us putting in more, even when we are conceding goals.”
Dubravka believes the solution needs to come from the dressing room.
Asked what needed to change, the 29-year-old said: “I don’t know. If I did know, I would be honest and tell all of the guys.
“We need find it ourselves. We need to analyse everything, but we have to be honest with each other. We didn’t do that until now I think.”
On the proposed players’ meeting, Dubravka said: “Sometimes you have to do that. Sometimes, that can help the players. We have to react differently.
“We’re together. We win together and we lose together. But, as I said, we need to be honest with each other, and if we want to be successful, we need to change something.”
Newcastle have already played four of last season’s top six, but Dubravka doesn’t believe the quality of the opposition can be used as an excuse.
“No, we cannot speak like this (and lose) just because we play against the top teams,” said the Slovakia international. “Of course, we knew we had a tough fixture list, but we all felt we could take some points. So we cannot say ‘the league starts now’.”
Newcastle take on Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Dubravka made his debut in last season’s 1-0 win over Jose Mourinho’s side at St James’s Park.
“Hopefully, we could achieve the same result as last time,” said Dubravka. “That would be good, but it will be a tough game.
“We have to bring the same attitude as then and do the same things. It’s no good talking about the same things again and again.
“If we want to change things, we have to start it off by doing it ourselves. It’s down to us, no one else.”