Now is no time for Newcastle United to play the blame game - that’s the view of forward Ayoze Perez.
The Spaniard has bore the brunt of criticism on social media this season, with many fans frustrated by his performances and manager’s Rafa Benitez’s persistence in selecting the 24-year-old.
But Perez, in the aftermath of yet another disappointing loss to Bournemouth, just five days after the away day blues of Burnley, thinks now is the time for a United front at St James’s Park.
He believes division is the last thing that should be on the agenda at Newcastle, who have exceeded expectations with their start to life back in the Premier League so far this campaign.
“We know that we cannot blame each other,” said Perez, whose side end their international hiatus with a trip to Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United on Saturday week.
“Still we have a lot of games to play.
“We need to keep going, keep improving and make sure we start giving less chances away to other teams, that way we will win more games than we lose.”
Reflecting back on the late, late defeat to Eddie Howe’s men at SJP at the weekend, Perez admits frustration was the overriding emotion in the United dressing room.
“It was disappointing,” he said.
“We made a lot of mistakes and we paid the price.
“The manager told us that we have to realise that we did not do well at all. We made mistakes that gave the opposition chances to score.
“We have to realise that was not good enough.
“Even with that in mind we could have won the game.”
Newcastle were rampant in the opening 25 minutes against the Cherries but having failed to press home their advantage, saw their performance drop off considerably, especially in the second 45.
That’s just not good enough, according to Perez.
Dominating for brief periods in games is never going to be enough in the top flight.
“In both games we had moments, we had control,” said the former Tenerife man, who was dropped by Benitez for the encounter.
“But that was not enough. The games are 93 minutes long, we must play from the start right to the end.
“Any chance we get to score we must take it. We did not do that against Burnley or Bournemouth.
“The control is not enough, we must be better at both ends of the pitch. We must focus on working on getting better.”
Meanwhile, another player linked with a January switch to United, Jonathan Bamba, has been offered a new deal at St Etienne to ward off interest. According to L’Equipe, the France Under-21 international, out of contract in the summer, has been offered improved terms by ASSE, after reports surfaced last week a number of Premier League clubs, including United, were eyeing a bargain bid in the winter window.