Steve Bruce did not hold back after his Newcastle side was obliterated 5-0 at the hands of Leicester City.
The Magpies boss called the defeat “a complete surrender” and blasted his team’s effort on the field in the loss.
“We have to apply ourselves better than what I’ve just witnessed there because it was a complete surrender too quickly and too easily,” he said after the defeat. “Too many felt sorry for themselves. Yes, we made mistakes and we got badly punished but to react in that way was the disappointment for myself, the players and the traveling support, which was quite unbelievable.”
Bruce, who took over for the departed Rafa Benitez despite heavy fan protest, said his players were soundly beaten in the second half and failed to respond to any of the adversity faced.
“Effort is a big, big part of the game and we have not done enough,” Bruce said to BBC Sport after the match. “The nitty gritty is we have not laid a glove on Leicester in the second half and the white flag came out too early.”
Most shockingly, Bruce seemed to admit the job might be out of his depth. He took responsibility for the defeat, but said that the best coaching would not have saved the players on the day.
“Being a manager or coach, I ultimately accept the responsibility because it’s as bad an afternoon as I can remember,” Bruce said. “I have heard lots of nonsense about tactics but the big thing is about showing pride and having a go. We have let everybody down today. I always knew it was a challenge, I was delighted to take the challenge but let us hope we can turn it around. I have the appetite to do that.”
Newcastle sits 19th in the Premier League table, with only the defensively challenged Watford below them. They next face Manchester United on Sunday, followed by a visit to Chelsea and a match against Wolves.