Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren has challenged his players to come out fighting against Chelsea following their shock defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.
The Championship side made 10 changes to their starting line-up for the League Cup trip to St James’ Park, but Lewis McGugan’s 76th-minute strike gave them a third-round victory.
With Newcastle having now lost four games in a row, during which time they have only scored once, McClaren has thrown down the gauntlet to his team before the Premier League champions visit on Saturday.
“I’ve been in football too long to be embarrassed. Angry, disappointed,” McClaren said after the game.
“Things like that can happen in football, we said that beforehand, and yes, it’s a very disappointing result and evening for everybody.
“We have said to the players, ‘You can’t feel sorry for yourselves. You have got to come out on Saturday and be a fighter or a victim’, and it’s one or the other, and we can only have fighters on there now.
“We say how far do we have to go before we turn it around, because the players are capable of doing that. We can’t talk about it, we have to do it.
“There’s not a lot you can say. There are no excuses – back in [on Thursday], Chelsea Saturday, it’s the fighting mentality we need.”
Newcastle head into Saturday’s game second from bottom of the Premier League table, with just two points from their opening six matches.