Phil Jones admits Manchester United deserved to lose at St James’s Park a performance that simply was “not good enough”.
Jose Mourinho’s wait for his first Premier League win at the stadium continued on Sunday as old foe Rafa Benitez oversaw a memorable 1-0 victory for Newcaslte United.
Matt Ritchie’s strike proved the difference on an afternoon when relegation-threatened Newcastle dug deep, stuck together and gave their all – a performance that second-placed Red Devils were no match for.
“Poor,” Jones said of his side’s display. “Poor. We started slow and sloppy. The crowd were on their feet, they got momentum.
“We gained a bit of momentum midway through the first half.
“Second half, we had a few chances, cleared off the line but, you know, we’re not kidding ourselves. We were not good enough.”
Jones conceded it “wasn’t about luck” given that Mourinho’s side put in a meek, undercooked display that they can ill-afford to repeat.
“We started too slow and couldn’t get to the rhythm of our game,” said the England international.
“For whatever reason, we weren’t good enough and we’ll have to play a lot better than that if we’re going to kick on and improve.
“You know, they didn’t (create a lot of chances) even when the crowd were on their feet and had a few half chances, (even though) the crowd think it’s sort of a one-on-one.
“We had a few chances ourselves, could have scored, but I think the result was probably fair. I don’t think we deserved to win the game.”
Man United midfielder Juan Mata said his team-mates should be “raging” about the defeat.
“After losing an away game, you think a lot about it on your way back home,” said Mata.
“You remember every play, every moment, and you try to change the outcome but obviously that’s impossible.
“You can’t turn back time, so the only way to carry on is to turn all this rage into a desire to win and work for the next game.
“The defeat hurts.”