Peter Beardsley says the Newcastle United players ‘have to have a good long, hard look at themselves’.

The former Newcastle playing legend could have been talking about any level at Newcastle United this season – but in this instance he was talking about his reserve team.

Monday night saw bottom club Brighton arrive at St James Park with only one win all season, yet despite this they ran out easy 4-1 winners at St James Park.

This left United’s second string with only four wins all season and their final seven matches have seen six defeats and a draw – exactly the same record as the first team

Last night’s game was the final reserve match of the season and Rafa Benitez declined to give any member of the first team squad time on the pitch.

The record throughout the club this season now stands as follows:

First Team: P32 W6 D7 L19

Reserves: P24 W4 D6 L14

Academy: P27 W7 D3 L17

A club total of P83 W17 D16 L50

The team that played last night is full of players hoping to represent NUFC in the Hong Kong Sevens in May but Peter Beardsley says that first they have to ‘reflect’ on this season and last night’s match in particular and ‘get in the real world’.

Beardsley pointed to playing at St James Park as maybe part of the reason for the poor displays of the reserves this season as it potentially lifts the opposition, then bizarrely referred to this as also being a contributory factor for the first team shambles this season.

Peter Beardsley talking to the official club website:

“It’s really disappointing. I said to their coach before the game about how we struggle to play at home. I don’t know what it is – if it’s the stadium, the pressure of being at home, I don’t know what it is – but we haven’t really played really well at this stadium in the last two years.

“I don’t know if it’s a big lift for the opposition, which in some ways it maybe has been for the first team games. Brighton won fair and square. We lost our shape, lost our enthusiasm if you like, and we could have lost by more.

“They shouldn’t be overawed here in the sense that they’ve played here a lot now. Nathan (Harker)’s probably the only one that hasn’t actually played at the stadium before, so they shouldn’t be. Having been to the Emirates on Friday and the Liberty last week, it should be something that they get used to, and have to get used to.

“Some of them are getting to 19, 20, and obviously they have to be able to stand on their own two feet and play for themselves.”

“To be fair to Brighton, they took advantage of our mistakes. Probably three of the four goals were our fault, but they took advantage and won easily in the end.”

“It’s something we can look forward to, but I think on reflection they have to have a good long, hard look at themselves after tonight, because it wasn’t great,

“The last three or four games we haven’t been great overall – as much as Hong Kong is a boost for them, they have to reflect on this first and get in the real world.”