Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren was left in a state of disbelief after his struggling side fell to a 1-0 defeat at Premier League leaders Arsenal.
McClaren’s men came into Saturday’s meeting third from bottom, but put in an assured display against their below-par opponents.
Georginio Wijnaldum and Aleksandar Mitrovic both missed chances for the visitors – the former superbly denied by Petr Cech when through one-one-one early in the second half.
And although McClaren took heart from the showing, he was left to rue another bitter defeat as Newcastle remain mired in the relegation zone.
“The players can’t believe it, we controlled and dominated the game after the first 10 minutes,” he said.
“We asked for a performance and the players gave it, but we conceded one soft goal and lost the game. You can’t fault the performance, we just have to be more ruthless at both ends.
“We caused them so many problems and controlled them at the back and we’re bewildered how we have not got anything.
“In the last three games we have lost 1-0 against Everton in the last minute, 1-0 to West Brom in the last 10 minutes and this one. The spirit is tremendous and I can’t fault them, I’m just really disappointed.”
Wijnaldum echoed the sentiments of his manager, and lamented his side’s wastefulness in front of goal.
“I thought we were the better side, we had good precision play and created chances but we didn’t take them so it was going to be difficult. They had one set piece and scored,” he said.
“We had a lot of confidence that we could play football here, but in the end we have nothing and we’re sad – it’s really frustrating.
“You know they have the quality to score but if we had taken two chances we would have won.
“You must keep faith that you are going to score goals, but every time you don’t you get frustrated and disappointed. But we have to keep our heads up and we must fight to get the points.”
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