Tim Krul wants embattled Newcastle United to show they are “real men” after the midweek League Cup loss to Sheffield Wednesday, starting with Saturday’s visit of Chelsea.
Newcastle’s season took another turn for the worse on Wednesday with a home defeat to Championship opposition, that result coming off the back of six winless Premier League matches.
Such poor form led manager Steve McClaren to concede that his side are reaching the point of crisis, but Krul insists now is the time to turn things around, facing a Chelsea team who themselves are performing below expectations so far in 2015-16.
“Everybody has to look at themselves in the mirror and ask if they gave everything,” the Dutchman told the club’s official website after the League Cup exit.
“If not, they have to start straight away, because what we are doing at the moment is really not good enough. A couple of players put in good performances but there were also some really bad ones.
“Everybody needs to grow now. We need to come out and show we are real men. Chelsea and Manchester City are two massive games and we have to show that we have got the fight for it.
“We have to try and turn it around on Saturday against Chelsea, with 50,000 Geordies being that extra man that we really need right now. Hopefully they will give us the confidence and lift we need.
“We need them behind us but we need to show them something, too, and give them something to shout about. It is a two-way street.
“Saturday is a new game and we have to show the fans fight and passion, and everybody needs to put in a proper performance.”
Chelsea have been boosted by three wins in succession in all competitions but still have significant ground to make up in the league after their poor start, with leaders Manchester City eight points clear.
St James’ Park has infamously been an unhappy hunting ground for Jose Mourinho in the past. The Portuguese boss has never won there in five attempts and saw his side beaten 2-1 last season.
If he is going to end that record, though, then he will likely never have a better chance to do it. Newcastle’s run of poor form extends to the latter part of last season and they have only won one out of their last 17 league encounters.
Newcastle will welcome striker Aleksandar Mitrovic back from suspension, while Chelsea’s Diego Costa will be missing as he serves the second game of his three-match ban.