Newcastle's Jamaal Lascelles slams 'terrible, unacceptable' display in Leicester thrashing
Lascelles tells Sky Sports: "It was nowhere near good enough. You should have a bit of pride in yourself. The simple things that you're taught we didn't do"
Last Updated: 30/09/19 11:21am
Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles says his team-mates only have themselves to blame after they were thrashed 5-0 at Leicester on Renault Super Sunday.
Jamie Vardy scored twice as Brendan Rodgers' side inflicted a heavy away defeat on the Magpies, who remain in 19th place with just one win from their opening seven Premier League games.
Trailing 1-0, Newcastle were not helped by Isaac Hayden's straight red card for a bad challenge on Dennis Praet on the stroke of half-time - but Lascelles believes it is no excuse for what followed.
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"It was terrible from the boys and we have no one but ourselves to blame," he told Sky Sports. "Leaking four goals even with 10 men is not good enough and it's just not acceptable.
"I don't think I've been here before where we've conceded five goals. We should've made it hard for them. Teams have been doing it throughout time, so it's not good from us.
"It's never happened like that. The boys do care, and having a man down is a disadvantage but we could've rolled our sleeves up and made sure they didn't score again but we didn't get into shape.
"It was nowhere near good enough. You should have a bit of pride in yourself and win your duels and battles. The simple things that you're taught, we didn't do.
"I don't want to say that we gave up, but we need to sit down and look back at that as it is nowhere near acceptable. The gaffer won't let us have our heads down too much, and we will need to let today go."
The defeat was Bruce's joint-heaviest ever in the Premier League, alongside a 7-2 loss against Chelsea in January 2010 and a 5-0 reverse against Manchester City in April 2011 - both as Sunderland manager.
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Having mustered less than 30 per cent possession in their last Premier League outing - an uninspiring 0-0 draw at home to Brighton - Bruce elected to be more adventurous against Rodgers' men by playing a flat-back four, with Yoshinori Muto making his first league start since December 2018 alongside Joelinton in attack.
But the visitors failed to produce a shot on target for the first time in 10 months - and Bruce agreed with Lascelles' assessment.
"It was probably worse than that, if I'm brutally honest," he told Sky Sports. "It was unacceptable. We've got supporters who've come here in their thousands and we have to give them more to shout about.
"The red card changed the game but we have to show more hunger, desire and spirit. After the red card, we had to see what we've got when things are going against you, but it was a horror show.
"Muto missed a big chance and we didn't take it, but while they're game-changing, you can't look back at that. We didn't do near enough of the basics, and it was one of them where we needed to dig deep, but we didn't do anywhere near enough.
"Up until today, I've worked on our defensive organisation and it's kept us in games. But to win any football match, you have to create chances too. So it's about finding the right balance.
"This is a bad, bad performance. We will have to put away the mistakes we're making this week at the training ground, otherwise it is going to be a difficult season. We have to get the basics right.
"The defending left a lot to be desired and it ended up being a horrible afternoon. I always knew this was going to be a tough job, and I'm used to it over the last 20 years or so. Now we need to stick our chests out and respond."
Souness: Newcastle threw in the towel
While Lascelles refused to say the players had "given up", former Newcastle manager Graeme Souness was more critical of the team.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Souness said: "The players did throw the towel in. They weren't putting in any challenges. They were playing against an enthusiastic, young midfield, and they were getting bullied by them. That shouldn't happen.
"They lost their way in the game after 15 minutes and then the player gets sent off. If you've got players who aren't up to the task, then others will feel inclined to feel it just wasn't their day - and that's not what you want. Make it your day."
It does not get any easier for Newcastle in the next few weeks, as they host Manchester United on Super Sunday next weekend and then travel to Chelsea on October 19.
"Somehow Steve has got to get his team together and make them believe again," said Souness.
"They've got to show that they've got men in that dressing-room. It can't all be about what the manager says, and they've got to motivate themselves.
"When you are fragile and concede a goal, heads go down - that is the top and bottom of it. It was a very sad day for Newcastle. They are in a very difficult position. A manager can only speak to players, they have to be professional."
'Leicester have top-four opportunity'
The win is Leicester's fourth in their last five Premier League games and moves them up to third in the table ahead of a trip to leaders Liverpool next Saturday.
Since Rodgers' first game in charge in March, only Liverpool (49) and Man City (43) have picked up more points than the Foxes (31).
"It was a very good performance in lots of aspects," said Rodgers. "We had good balance, defended well, the pressing was good, we had real hunger in our game and on the counter-attack we were a threat.
"We showed how to play against 10 men. Sometimes you can be loose and give away too much space, but I thought we managed it really well and the clean sheet is very pleasing. It was a great day for us and it's a mark of a good team how you exploit 10 men.
"We've got a lot to learn still and lots of improvement to make, but the boys have been brilliant and the players all want to learn. As a coach, that's the dream ticket."
Souness said he thinks Leicester can challenge for the top four this season.
"We are seven games into the season and given some of the 'big teams' are stuttering, there's an opportunity for Leicester to break into the top four.
"They are a very good team but the acid test will come next week. Tests will not come any stiffer than the one next week against Liverpool."