JOHN Carver says Newcastle United have drawn a line under their Etihad Stadium nightmare – after admitting they were lucky the scoreline was not even more “embarrassing”.
Carver and his players reviewed Saturday’s 5-0 loss to Manchester City at the club’s training ground yesterday.
However, their attentions have now already turned to this weekend’s clash with relegation-threatened Aston Villa at St James’s Park.
Newcastle’s loss at the Etihad will live long in the memories of supporters for all the wrong reasons, though, particularly after a horror start.
United found themselves 3-0 down at half-time after conceding two goals in the first 12 minutes, and although Carver told his players to keep it tight after the break, things swiftly unravelled again.
Carver said: “(At half-time), what I said to the guys was, ‘Let’s get something out of this, so if we come in at full-time with a 3-0 score, then we’ll settle for that’, because that would have been an improvement in the second half.
“But again, we conceded two early goals in the second half, and then it’s 5-0. It could have actually been even more embarrassing than what it was.
“I’m standing here hugely disappointed for the fans, more than anybody.
“We had a good support again, but you can’t start the game like that at the champions. You’ve got to stay in the game for as long as you can, and sometimes you’ve just got to dig in and work hard. Obviously that didn’t happen (on Saturday).
“People can blame other people, but it’s about sticking together and making sure that we put it right.”
Carver and his players understandably came in for some severe criticism after Saturday’s game, particularly on social media.
And Newcastle’s head coach, who was given that role until the end of the season last month, has admitted United will be under pressure when Villa visit Tyneside on Saturday.
Carver added: “Those are the games that we’re expected to get three points from, because there are two or three divisions within the Premier League.
“Those are the games, at home, that you’re expected to win, so there’s a little bit of pressure on everybody.
“This is out of the way now – we’ll draw a line under it – and we’ll get ready for Aston Villa now.”