Steven Taylor says there are “no excuses” for Newcastle United’s players after the club’s campaign took another turn for the worse.
Steve McClaren’s side dropped back into the Premier League’s relegation zone after Saturday’s 5-1 hammering at Stamford Bridge.
McClaren is taking his players to La Manga, Spain, for a training camp and a friendly against Lillestrom on Saturday.
And Taylor and his team-mates must stew on their “sickening” defeat to Chelsea, with their next Premier League game not until March 2 when they visit Stoke City.
“It was a sickening feeling coming off the pitch,” said long-serving Taylor.
“And the long wait (to the next game) doesn’t help. It’s going to play on our minds. It’s hurt the boys.”
Newcastle, second-best to the Premier League champions in every department, were 3-0 down inside the first 17 minutes at Stamford Bridge.
United, again, were found wanting defensively, while they couldn’t keep the ball in midfield.
“Chelsea played like they did last year,” said Taylor. “They built their confidence throughout the game. They were pulling us out of position.
“We found it difficult. They controlled the whole 90 minutes.
“They nullified us down to little snapshots, nothing that was going to cause any problems. We got a consolation goal, but we weren’t good enough all over the park.
“When it went to 3-0 we knew it would be difficult. They were causing all sorts of problems all through the game.
“Everyone’s got to hold their hands up. We’ve got to take it on the chin. There are no excuses. We’ve got to accept the criticism.
“They did what we did to West Brom (a week earlier at St James’s Park).”
United have won just two away games this season, and the club’s dreadful record on its travels has left it 18th in the league and seemingly heading for the Championship.
Taylor – who experienced the pain of relegation in 2009 – knows only wins will lift Newcastle up the table between now and the end of a troubled and troubling campaign.
“At St James’s, we’re a different side,” said 30-year-old Taylor.
“Away from home it hasn’t been good enough, hasn’t been acceptable. We need to turn it round.
“There are 12 games left now, and we have to start winning games. That’s massively important now. Even draws won’t be good enough.
“We have to win. Three points are a must.
“We tried to take the game to Chelsea and attack them, and they did that to us. They were straight on us. They didn’t give us any time to breathe on the ball. They closed down our midfield.”