Manager Alan Pardew blames injuries for Newcastle United’s poor form.
The Magpies were without four key players against a more weakened Manchester United on Saturday, Loic Remy, Tim Krul, Mathieu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko missing the loss.
“I am not baffled by it,” insisted Pardew when asked about his side’s poor form. “There is some explanation in losing key players but we do need to get a performance where something breaks for us.
“We just need to get the first goal. It would lift everyone.
“When you concede the first goal in the Premier League it is a blow. The timing of their first goal (after 39 minutes) was difficult for us.
“I feared the worst and there was an unjust feeling to it because there had been an offside moments before not given.
“My players have put in an honest performance but they have not been good enough either as a squad or as a team.”
Newcastle have lost 11 of their last 16 games in all competitions, failing to score in 11. In that time, Remy, Krul, Debuchy and Sissoko have made a combined 43 starts.
Remy has missed the most matches – nine – and without their top-scorer through injury and suspension Newcastle have been desperately short of a goal threat.
Pardew added: “It is a tough run for us.
“When you are not really threatening the goal like we aren’t at the moment it puts a lot of pressure on your own back four and midfield and teams grow in confidence against us thinking you are not going to score.
“We have played quality opposition, but we have a catch 22 when we are committing players to try and get that goal and are getting a bit loose. We need to really tighten up at Stoke (Newcastle’s next opponents) but the emphasis is on us at home and we knew we had to come out at the weekend and try to show some ambition.
“The most important thing is the injuries have had a real impact on the team. You do not have to be a genius to work that out.
“We do need to get ourselves focused on what is ahead for us.
“We have had difficult home games and we have just two home games left against Swansea and Cardiff.
“I think they are essential for us to give a good feeling to our fans and among ourselves for the summer.”