Sheffield Wednesday piled the pressure on Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren by recording a shock 1-0 win at St James’ Park in the League cup third round.
In an uninspiring contest with few big opportunities, Lewis McGugan’s goal from the edge of the box in the closing stages proved decisive.
Sergiu Bus missed a golden opportunity to seal the tie in the final minutes as McClaren’s team struggled throughout the match.
They have only two points from six Premier League games and crashed out of the cup with a desperate performance – their first shot on target not arriving until the 85th minute.
Newcastle made five changes following their defeat to Watford, with Siem de Jong replac
ing the misfiring Papiss Cisse in one of the alterations.
Wednesday made 10 changes to their line-up, with Carlos Carvalhal seemingly prioritising his side’s Championship endeavours over a cup run.
After a quiet start to the game, Tim Krul was forced two make two saves in quick succession midway through the first half.
Marco Matias and Jeremy Helan both tested the Dutch goalkeeper with long-range attempts, while the hosts struggled to create any chances of note.
Newcastle made two changes at half-time, bringing on Ayoze Perez and Kevin Mbabu in an attempt to find the breakthrough.
The switches did not an immediate impact though, with Matias the next to threaten when he struck narrowly wide from inside the penalty area.
Perez was just off-target with an effort of his own moments later, but Newcastle had still not managed a shot on target.
Wednesday’s much-changed side opened the scoring on 76 minutes. A long punt from goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith was only half-cleared and McGugan’s shot from the edge of the box was too strong for Krul, who should have done better.
The Championship side should have made it two to settle the tie with 10 minutes remaining. Krul made a superb save to tip Lucas Joao’s header on to the bar and Bus somehow failed to covert with the goal gaping as he followed up, also striking the woodwork.
Newcastle finally tested Wildsmith for the first time with five minutes left, with the keeper equal to Georginio Wijnaldum’s effort as McClaren’s men bowed out of the competition with a whimper.