Gary Rowett was shellshocked after watching Saturday afternoon’s match.

They may have lost 3-0 at home to Barnsley last weekend but today, Birmingham were given a lesson in so many ways.

Gary Rowett says that as well as a ‘football lesson’ his players algo got an ‘athletic lesson’ as well.

The visiting manager reckoned his players couldn’t physically cope with Newcastle’s movement and pace, especially in the opening 45 minutes.

Summing up though the challenge his team faced, Rowett says ‘Make no nones about it, this is a Premier League team’…and he wasn’t talking about Birmingham!

Gary Rowett:

“Not only was it a bit of a football lesson, it was also an athletic lesson as well. The top players run, sprint…they have got a little bit of everything more.

“Make no bones about it, this is a Premier League team we were playing against.

“In a stadium like this, if you don’t start well and hang on a little bit longer, you are going to find it’s a very, very tough afternoon.

“Newcastle coming off a few defeats, you knew they were going to be particularly motivated and put an incredibly strong team out.

“I would say they are probably the best team I have seen in the Championship in terms of how they can hurt you.

“My concern over the last few weeks has been that people have wanted more technical players in the team – but sometimes unless you do the other side of the game you don’t get the ball enough to hurt the opposition.

“Their movement and their running in the first half – at times was too much for us, we didn’t get close enough and we weren’t destructive enough to get opportunities to counter attack.

“If you are going to defend deep against a good side you are going to have to make sure you are intercepting a lot – We certainly didn’t do that!”

Here are the stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 4 Birmingham 0

Goals – 

Newcastle: Gayle 18, 24, 77 Gouffran 47

Possession was Birmingham 38% Newcastle 62%

Total shots were Birmingham 5 Newcastle 20

Shots on target were Birmingham 2 Newcastle 10

Corners were Birmingham 1 Newcastle 7

Newcastle starting 11:

Darlow, Anita, Clark, Lascelles, Dummett, Hayden (Lazaar 82), Shelvey, Ritchie, Gouffran (Atsu 72), Diame, Gayle (Mitrovic 79)

Unused Subs:

Sels, Mbemba, Yedlin, Tiote

Referee: Andy Davies

Crowd: 52,145 (Birmingham 3,184)

(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the match go HERE)

(To see the interactive player ratings and to add your own go HERE)