Magpies must buck up ideas - Butt

29 March 2009 10:15
Nicky Butt admits Newcastle are in deep trouble and has called on his team-mates to show they are good enough to stay in the Premier League.The Magpies are in danger of losing their top-flight status for the first time in 16 years.Butt admits there is huge concern in the Newcastle camp and the former Manchester United ace insists the players are hurting."I am a player. I am part of why we are where we are," he told the News of the World."It's annoyed me. We have 20-odd lads who are annoyed. We will all have different reasons as to why it has gone wrong."It's definitely in our heads. We think we're too good to be working as hard as a Hull City or a Bolton. We have to work as hard as them and then our ability will kick in."Maybe we think we don't need to do that, that we're too good. We think, 'we've got Michael Owen, we've got Oba Martins, we've got Jonas Gutierrez, we've got Damien Duff - we've got all these great players, so we don't need to work as hard.' But the fact is we do."I'm part of it. We're all in it together. We're going out for games and we have the thing in our head that we are much better than him, the person we're playing against."We think, 'I'm a much better player and I can take it easy today.' Everyone is part of that and we have to get rid of it."It's not work ethic, to be fair. They are all good lads who work hard in training and give their all. It's something inside your head. I'm no different. You think, 'I'm playing against this lad today, and I'm better.' You might think once or twice a season, 'I can take it a bit easy today' - but you can't."Off the field, the club have been in turmoil with owner Mike Ashley putting the club up for sale, only to then pledge his support once again to the Magpies.However, Butt insists that the club's future cannot be used as an excuse for their displays.He continued: "It was all a bit of a distraction but it's not an excuse for the players. It's easy to blame the situation or someone else. Sooner or later you have to look at yourself in the mirror. You have to say, 'hold on, mate. It's not his fault. It's me who's not performing.'"We all have to do that and try to turn it around for the last eight games. I hope the players are coming round to that way of thinking."Butt still feels Newcastle have a lot to look forward."We've the potential to be a big club but we're not. We're going backwards," he said."And I came here to challenge for the top four. Everyone is Newcastle daft up here. Even the girls and the grannies go around in black and white shirts. That makes it different."You always associated Newcastle with big signings and trying to get over the final hurdle. The last two seasons have been disasters and I feel for the fans and everybody involved. At the minute we are nowhere near challenging where we should be. We are inconsistent, we've got no confidence and we need to get it back."Playing at St James' Park is something we should thrive on. We should be looking forward to playing in front of our fans. If we get the structure of the club right, we can get there. But it will take years and no-one wants to hear that. You need to get the academy running right, you need to get players coming through the club who bleed it, players whose grandparents loved the club."I feel for this club now. I feel for Newcastle. I love the place, I love the attitude of the people around it. It's just football, football, football. Our position hurts me because this place means something to me. We have to keep the club in the Premier League."[LNB]

Source: Eurosport