Steve Bruce admitted that Newcastle could be in for a “long and difficult season” after their 5-0 defeat at the hands of Leicester City.
Newcastle’s winless run extended to five games as they suffered their heaviest defeat since Bruce took charge, with Leicester putting five goals past Martin Dubravka without reply.
Captain Jamaal Lascelles described the performance as “unacceptable”, before Bruce told Sky Sports that the extent was even worse.
“It was worse than that if I’m being honest, it was totally unacceptable,” he said. “We have a following of supporters who have come here in their thousands. The way they supported us was typical of them but we have to give them more to shout about.
“The red card makes it difficult but you have to have more hunger. The deflection makes it a tough afternoon but certainly we didn’t do enough, it was one of them horror shows.”
Bruce admitted the decision to send off Isaac Hayden for his foul on Dennis Praet was an easy one for the referee.
“I have no complaints. Back in my day maybe, but in today’s game you cannot follow through and be reckless because they are the ones that damage people. When he looks back he will know.
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“It was important we got Andy [Carroll] to some fitness level and I haven’t seen much of [Miguel] Almiron so it was damage limitation when those two came on.
“We have worked on our defensive organisation and it has kept us in games but today we didn’t have a left wing back and it made it difficult for us. It is a bad, bad performance.
“We have to go to work this week and put away the mistakes we have been making or it will be a long and difficult season.
“The second and third goal came so quickly and it became very difficult. It ended up as a horrible afternoon for everybody, I always knew it was going to be tough but now we have to show what we have got.”
The difficult run of games continues for Newcastle, who are due to host Manchester United next Sunday – a game that Bruce warns could be just as challenging.
“We knew that we have a tough fixture list to start with but the Premier League demands you do the basics well, and if we don’t against Man Utd, you will be in for a tough afternoon.”