Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini says the club's recent form been "tough for everyone" and urged Magpies fans to try to stay positive.
A 3-0 thrashing by Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby was followed by subsequent setbacks against Chelsea and Tottenham, which has done little to lighten the gloom at St James’ Park.
Argentina centre-back Coloccini is recovering from a knee injury that has kept him out of action since New Year’s Day, but he was particularly forthright in his assessment of the side’s efforts in the derby game against Gus Poyet’s relegation strugglers.
“We set ourselves standards as a team and as individual players but we fell well short of that in the biggest game of the season,” Coloccini is quoted as saying in the Newcastle Chronicle. “Everyone at the club was very disappointed in what happened.
“We followed it by travelling to Chelsea and although our performance was much better, we suffered another 3-0 defeat. Not winning games recently has been tough for everyone, but it is important to remember we are ninth in the division and have had some really good results this season.”
Newcastle manager Pardew called his players in for extra training on Thursday after their 4-0 home defeat against Tottenham the night before and has vowed to make changes for his side’s Premier League game against Aston Villa on Feb 23.
Coloccini is tipped to return to action for that game, with leading scoring Loic Remy also available after finishing a three-game suspension.