Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren says his side’s Premier League defeat to West Ham will serve as a wake-up call but refused to blame the loss on their difficult journey to Upton Park.
McClaren’s side were comfortably dispatched 2-0 in east London thanks to Dimitri Payet’s brace, after Newcastle’s disrupted trip south ended with the players walking the final part of the journey due to traffic.
However, the Newcastle boss refused to use it as an excuse, instead calling for his side to produce a reaction against Watford on Saturday.
“To be honest it’s a wake-up call for everyone – in the Premier League you need to be at every game 100 per cent, and if you’re not you get beaten,” he told Sky Sports.
“Credit to West Ham and when they got the first goal you could see they were gunning for it and we couldn’t match it.
“I don’t know what it was – whether it was the journey, being late getting here with a 10-minute warm-up. We said before ‘no excuses and deal with it’ and maybe we didn’t deal with it.
“I don’t want to make excuses but it wasn’t the best preparation. The first four games, what we’ve been doing, we didn’t do tonight.
“That wasn’t the level we’ve been producing. Our build-up play and control of the game was okay, but our final ball and final cross, final touch in the box wasn’t of the quality of West Ham, which is why we lost.
“Some of these players are new and learning about the Premier League, and they’ll have learned a lot tonight.
“We need to put it right for Saturday. We need a big reaction and from everybody – not just the players and the staff, but the fans as well.”