MIKE Williamson has admitted criticism of Newcastle United’s efforts is justified - and hit out a lack of determination in the squad.
The Magpies produced a gutless performance on Wednesday night as they crashed to a 4-0 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur.
It followed on from two successive 3-0 defeat against derby rivals Sunderland and Chelsea, and extended Newcastle’s miserable run to just one win in their last nine games.
It is the manner of the defeats which has angered fans - and manager Alan Pardew - the most, with the team showing a lack of fight and effort against Spurs.
Williamson was honest in his appraisal of the performance, and says the players need to show the long-suffering fans they do care about the club when they next take to the pitch against Aston Villa on February 23.
“There needs to be an apology and a reaction because it wasn’t good enough, all over the pitch,” he said.
“We need to get back to basics on the training ground and come together as a group.
“The work ethic, determination and the spirit needs to be there and I think it wasn’t (against Spurs) – that is the most disappointing thing of all.
“Personally and collectively it wasn’t good enough, I think at times the lads can come in for unfair criticism but (this time) it was justified.
“We have to come out against Villa and show the fans we do care.”
Williamson has become an important figure in a dressing room that has been shorn of leaders like the injured Fabricio Coloccini and Cheik Tiote, plus Yohan Cabaye, who left for Paris St Germain before the transfer window closed.
Skipper Coloccini and Tiote could return for the Villa game which would boost morale in a squad that is low on confidence.
Williamson admits spirits are low, but hinted at a lack of togetherness in the camp as he stopped short of saying the full squad were upset by recent results.
“The majority of the lads are hurting,” he added. “It is difficult to take for everyone, let alone the fans.”