Daryl Janmaat says Newcastle United’s fans deserve better after the 6-1 mauling at Manchester City left the club propping up the Premier League.
Sergio Aguero scored five goals at the Etihad Stadium, where Steve McClaren’s side had taken the lead through an 18th-minute Aleksandar Mitrovic goal.
Aguero levelled before the break, and Newcastle’s performance unravelled in spectacular fashion early in the second half.
Janmaat, one of the few United players to speak after the game, didn’t offer any excuses, not least Aguero’s brilliance, for the team’s capitulation.
“There are no excuses,” he said.
“We have to stand up. We have had a tough eight games. It wasn’t good enough, but we have to look forward and start getting points.”
Asked what his message was to fans, the defender said: “Everybody knows that’s not good enough – that 10 minutes in the second half.
“I feel sorry for them. We had a lot of supporters here. They saw a very good first half, but then in the second half wasn’t good for them and they don’t deserve it.
“We are very disappointed, especially after the first half. It was really good, and then in 10 minutes we lost the game.
“He (Aguero) is a very good player, but you can’t allow him to score five times. We needed to stop him.
“We know it’s tough in the Premier League is tough, but you have to play 100 per cent otherwise you get killed.”
Head coach McClaren felt United made it “easy” for Aguero.
Asked if it was the hardest job in the league to stop Aguero and David Silva, he said: “Yes – and I think we did help them.
“I think they can produce goals and moments from nothing to win a football match.
“When you give them those moments, I think it’s easy for them, but we came across a team in that second half who got thrown a lifeline before half time and a player who makes a huge difference.
“While we could be talking about what our failings maybe, you’ve got to give credit to Man City for the team that they’re producing.
“Aguero’s a fantastic footballer. We’d all love Aguero in our team – and we’d loan him for half a game every month if we could!
“He’s got everything, and he’s got players around him who provide chances for him, but he’s a great all-round striker.
“But as we said I think we scared them for 45 minutes, and I think they scared us for the next 45 minutes.”
Meanwhile, City manager Manuel Pellegrini never had any doubt Aguero would soon be back in the goals.
Prior to the game the 27-year-old, City’s top scorer with 32 goals from 41 appearances last season, had not struck from open play since the victory over Chelsea on August 16.
But as Pellegrini had hoped his late penalty winner against Borussia Monchengladbach in midweek provided the spark he needed.
Pellegrini said: “I was confident. I just said it was very important for him to keep calm.
“He was not nervous because he was not scoring, he knows playing in the way we play and with his quality he will score.
“This team always will try to score more goals and play attractive football because, as I always say, I am a fan of the fans. The fans pay for their tickets and want to see their team playing in this way.”