Mick Martin: Newcastle will go down unless players change ‘unacceptable’ attitudes

RETURN ... Daryl Janmaat.
RETURN ... Daryl Janmaat.

FORMER Newcastle United midfielder Mick Martin says the club WILL be relegated this season – unless the players change their ‘unacceptable’ attitudes.

Martin, who played for the club between 1978 and 1984, was at the King Power Stadium on Saturday as Newcastle fell to a costly 3-0 defeat against Leicester.

It was United’s eighth consecutive loss, and left them just two points above the relegation zone with three games to play.

And Martin expects Newcastle to fall through the trapdoor unless the mentality of some players change.

He told the Gazette: “I was at the Leicester game, and it was so disappointing.

“I couldn’t believe the reactions of some of the players when things were going against them. It was just unacceptable, but it had been coming from previous games.

“Based on what I’ve seen lately, Newcastle are going to have their work cut out to stay up.

“Leicester are a team near the bottom, but they were miles ahead of us on Saturday, and in the second half the week before, the players went missing against Swansea.

“If their attitude remains that way, they will be relegated. They have got to give more effort.”

Newcastle will come up against another of Martin’s former clubs, West Bromwich Albion, at St James’s Park this weekend, with the Baggies having won 1-0 at Manchester United on Saturday.

And the 63-year-old says the onus is on the players – not head coach John Carver – to rise to the occasion.

He added: “West Brom beat Manchester United at Old Trafford at the weekend, so it’s going to take a giant effort to beat them.

“It’s all down to how people handle the pressure of playing in front of 52,000 fans in such an important game.

“Some people rise to those occasions, and others hide, so it will be interesting to see how they perform.

“When you’re near the bottom, every game is a massive game. It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing Hartlepool, West Brom or Man United. You have to put in a performance to go out and win the game.

“If your manager isn’t setting you up to win the game, you have to do it yourself. I’m a firm believer that once you leave the dressing room, the influence of the manager has gone completely.

“You make the decisions on the football field, not the manager.”