JONÁS Gutiérrez says losing the Tyne-Wear derby has hurt him more than relegation. The experienced Argentinian was part of the Newcastle United squad which tumbled into the Championship in 2009, but ranks the pain of Sunday’s derby-day disappointment as more acute than that experience.
Indeed, he has stayed indoors all week because he knows that there can be no explaining the performance that led to their first home defeat by Sunderland for more than a decade.
Gutiérrez (pictured) was deployed in the left-back role and struggled to contain the resurgent Adam Johnson on an afternoon to forget for everyone in black-and-white.
He admits to feeling responsible and says the squad must bear the collective burden of the defeat.
But having felt the rawness of his “worst week” in Newcastle colours he is now desperate to help lead the fight-back against West Brom tomorrow.
He admitted: “I think it’s the worst week since I’ve been at the club.
“To lose like that at home is something that I feel will make all of the team sad and the city is sad too. They are not enjoying this week.
“Of course to be relegated is hard but this has been a worse week.
“I know we are talking about one game that I think it is more important for them, and to lose the derbies is something very painful for the squad.
“I haven’t been out because of the result. I have stayed at home.
“I don’t enjoy what’s happened, but that’s me. It’s the same with all the squad, the more positive thing to do is to keep calm and stay at home because what can you say to the fans because they ask you what happened? It’s about action not words.”
Due to the high winds buffeting their Benton training base, the team moved to St James’ Park for training
yesterday. There, the process of trying to repair the damage of Sunday’s defeat began, with Alan Pardew telling his players to secure safety as soon as possible as a way of beginning the recovery.
Gutiérrez agrees that while beating West Brom won’t instantly salve the hurt, it can help.
“Sunday is done now. We can’t do anything about that game anymore so now we have to focus on the last five games that we have in this season because we are in a situation that isn’t easy, but it’s not the worst,” he said.
“There are many teams fighting to take the points to make sure they are in a good position in the final league places. We have a good opportunity now against West Brom to go away and get three points because it is something we are not doing so well this year.”
The United camp has certainly felt the pain of the defeat.
Gutiérrez also wanted to offer a counter argument to the theory that Newcastle’s lack of an English core contributed to their defeat.
“I know that all the supporters are having a really hard week,” he said. “It hurts because I come from Argentina and we know what derbies mean. I feel the same here and that is why it is so painful.”