Ciaran Clark makes startling admission that will worry Newcastle United fans
Ciaran Clark has worryingly admitted he and his Newcastle United teammates "weren't up” for Saturday evening’s game at Brighton and Hove Albion.
Against a Premier League relegation rival, Steve Bruce’s side put in a gutless performance on the south coast with the Seagulls running out comfortable 3-0 winners.
The result heaped pressure on Bruce, though calls for the 60-year-old to be sacked were quickly answered by owner Mike Ashley, who is opting to stick by his head coach.
Clark’s admission is startling as the Magpies battle to retain their top-flight status with nine games of the season remaining.
Indeed, the 31-year-old, now on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, hopes the return of Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin will provide a timely boost for the visit of Tottenham Hotspur on April 4.
He said: “Three games before, we had three draws and we could have won two of those games. We’ve been pretty confident and we have been for the last couple of weeks.
“On Saturday night, we weren’t up for it as a group of players. For some reason, it didn’t work for us. That was the most disappointing thing, the way we were playing the weeks beforehand, we didn’t take into the game, such a big game as well.
“The international break has probably come at a good time for us now. We’ve time to get some injured players back. Hopefully, we can see out remaining games with a fully-fit squad, probably bar Isaac Hayden, who picked up a nasty injury.”