Alan Pardew kept his players in the dressing room long after the final whistle.
The bottom line is simple, as far as the fans are concerned - there is no vocal leader on the pitch who the players can turn to. No Bob Moncur, Alan Shearer, Craig Bellamy, Jonathan Woodgate or Gary Speed.
It's eleven individuals going about the task - without a purpose or a system - because there ISN'T ONE!
Pardew can shout at the players until he is blue in the face, but it's a fact of life - football is a TEAM game, and there has to be a system to play to.
At the moment the team is struggling because of injuries, and those coming into the side are either inexperienced, or nowhere near as good as the players they are replacing.
It is rarely "like-for-like"; we don't have players who can slot into a position and keep the engine ticking over.
We don't have ANOTHER Fabricio Coloccini, Yohan Cabaye or Cheik Tioté. They are being replaced by kids who are not up to Premiership standard.
Mike Williamson: “After the game it was a case of trying to get to the bottom of it – a few home truths were said.
“But it is about sticking together as a group – that’s what the lads know we have to do.
“It isn’t about a blame culture or passing responsibility.
“Everybody has to take responsibility. Nobody can say they played well or they could come out of the game with their heads held high.
“But in the same respect, nobody can say they didn’t try. Everybody’s trying and pull in the same direction.
“Understandably, we were just completely deflated and disappointed – it’s frustrating.
“They are the main words that the lads used in the dressing room, because we didn’t expect to go there and put on a display like we did.
“But it’s all about getting ourselves together and trying to solve the equation. That’s all we can do now.
“We have a tough game at Stoke, so it’s about looking forward and trying to right the wrongs.
“At the minute, it isn’t happening for us. It’s all about reflecting, getting back to the training ground and working on what will get us going again.
“We need to find the key. It’s more about pulling together. We have an honest group of lads here.
“We need to pull together – that’s what we did last year.
“That’s what got us through the season and to the fifth-placed finish we had.
“We’re in a hole at the minute, and there’s no hiding from that.
“It’s about standing up to be counted, and having the characters in the changing room to guide us through. Both the experienced lads and young lads need to get together and push each other on.
“It’s the same faces that produced a fantastic season last year. Nothing has changed.
“It’s not like we lost four or five players in the summer. It’s all about working together and sticking together. We need to be a group.
“We need to progress as a unit rather than individually.
“The fact is the lads are feeling a lot worse about it in the dressing room. It’s the frustration at the displays we’re putting on.
“We have to let the fans know that we’re working hard and putting every minute we can towards sorting it for them.
“We are an honest group of players, and the fans can see that.
“Every minute of the day we’re thinking of how to make the team better, personally, individually and as collective.
“At the minute we’re working hard and have a lot of games we can turn it round.
“We want the fans to know that we care. We’re as disappointed as they are.”
Source: Newcastle United Mad