After watching Newcastle give yet another feeble showing, this time against Southampton, Mark Lawrenson made serious accusations against the Newcastle players.

The former player turned pundit says that when Pelle made it 2-0 seven minutes before half-time, the United team put the ‘white flag’ out and gave up.

Though possibly his more serious accusation was that once the game was over at 3-0 when Wanyama scored with 35 minutes left, that was when Newcastle started to play.

Mark Lawrenson saying that Newcastle don’t have the bottle to do that when everything is to play for, instead doing it when the ‘pressure is off’.

Rafa Benitez talks of how mentally weak the players are and it is difficult to see more than one or two who are prepared to go toe to toe with the opposition and/or be prepared to keep the ball and try to do something.

It was a similar case at Norwich last weekend, when Newcastle only started playing in the final 20 or so minutes. Yes Mitrovic coming on did help but that wasn’t the only factor in Newcastle suddenly starting to play late on after being dominated for most of the game.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“At two down the white flag was out and then at three down they started to play.

“That tells you everything about them…

“All of a sudden it is ‘Oh we can play now, the pressure is off a little bit’.

“I saw Aston Villa do that at Manchester City the other week and you just go ‘Whoa, no chance’.”

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