Mathieu Debuchy looking to repair damage

MATHIEU Debuchy last night asked Newcastle United fans to stick with their team in the wake of Sunday’s humiliating derby defeat.

Newcastle United's Mathieu Debuchy
Newcastle United's Mathieu Debuchy

MATHIEU Debuchy last night asked Newcastle United fans to stick with their team in the wake of Sunday’s humiliating derby defeat.

The Toon Army has spent the last couple of days in a daze following Sunderland’s 3-0 victory at St James’ Park, a result that neither set of supporters predicted pre-match.

The biggest criticism aimed at Newcastle’s players, Debuchy included, was that they failed to grasp the importance of the fixture and didn’t match the intensity of their visitors.

Even if that were the case, they certainly now realise what it’s all about as the French right-back admitted his first derby was a massive disappointment.

However, with the fans’ continued backing the team will do all they can to make up for what was a painful day.

Debuchy said: “It’s very difficult to lose a derby match like that. For a few of us it was our first derby, we know it was a very important game for the club and the fans, so we’re very disappointed.

“I can understand that it’s very difficult for the supporters, but it’s also very difficult for us to take a 3-0 defeat like that.

“I just want to tell them that we really need their support.

“It’s really important for us so I hope they’ll stay with us, they’re a really important part of the club and for us. I want to let them know we’re going to fight until the end.”

Newcastle can’t feel sorry for themselves and must find a way of working Sunday out of their system before this Saturday’s match at West Brom.

Asked how the players could lift themselves, Debuchy said: “We don’t have a choice. We’ve got some important matches coming up and that starts next weekend. We need to get to work and make sure we’re up for it.

“What went wrong? That’s something we’re going to look at this week in training between ourselves and make sure we analyse it.”

Newcastle have made a habit over the past few months of taking a step backwards in terms of their Premier League position. Last-minute wins had left them almost safe, but now the pressure is back on as Sunderland have closed the gap on their rivals to just two points. And while bragging rights are

important on derby day, so, too, is the three points that would have taken Newcastle to 11th in the table.

Debuchy said: “Obviously we would have preferred to have gone out there and won to make sure we had a bit more space between ourselves and the bottom.

“But we didn’t do that and we need to keep fighting.

“We’ve got a great character in there, a great team and this week we’ll get out there, get down to work and make sure we win as many games as we can until the end of the season.” Alan Pardew has his work cut out this week to get his players right both physically and mentally.

The defeat to Sunderland came three days after Benfica knocked them out of Europe and now the spectre of relegation has raised its head again.

Pardew made sure his players fully understood what losing a derby means to Newcastle United – and that it won’t be tolerated again.

Debuchy revealed: “Quite simply he (Pardew) was disappointed with the result and the manner of the defeat. He said we needed to get out there and work harder and make sure we get the results we need.”

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