Newcastle 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1  –  Monday 26 December 7.45pm

We asked a number of our regular writers to give us a brief instant reaction after the final whistle:

Paul Lyon:

“Felt before the game that we needed good performances from Diame & Hayden to ensure the 3 points, I don’t think we got either.

“Sheff Wed executed their game plan quite well, aided by another shocking refereeing performance.

“Frustrating night where our tempo wasn’t up to the required standard and we relied upon Darlow making some excellent saves.

“Luckily we have a decent cushion between us and 3rd.”

Nat Seaton:

“A desperately disappointing  lethargic Boxing Day display – deja vu or what?!

“Enough said…”

Jack Lacey-Hatton:

“Second half was the worst of the season.

“Ritchie and Dummett were particularly shocking. No tempo no urgency.

“Hope Rafa hammers them for that. Rubbish.”

Leazes Park Ender:

“Overheard a Sheff Wed fan on the Metro saying ‘Newcastle have been found out’.

“Well, that may not be the case but there were a few worrying signs tonight.

“A side shorn of Shelvey huffed and puffed and after some penalty appeals were waved away, the visitors had the better of the game.

“Promotion credentials ate being tested. Brighton have a chance to take top spot tomorrow. It stings.

“Over to you Rafa.”

Jamie Smith:

“Can’t grumble. We were below par against a good side, albeit one who came to kick us off the park.

“You have to feel for Darlow who replicated his Forest display by playing outstanding in spite of defeat.

“Our away form is astonishing but we remain shockingly capable of these crappy home performances.

“However, Forest are far worse than Wednesday and I expect a better showing on Friday, although with Brighton at home to QPR it will doubtless be playing catch up.”

Ben Cooper:

“The good news is that I had a pre-match bet that there would be over 873 fouls committed by Sheffield Wednesday so it had paid out by half time.

“Would have been earlier if the referee had been watching.

“The bad news is that all of our attacking players were rubbish, tho at least Ritchie and Gayle tried. A new plan is required until shelvey is back from the naughty step.

“One without Ayoze Perez on today’s performance, tho he was by no means alone in his lack of effort.”

George Stainsby:

“It’s an odd thing about this league, that even though we’ve lost more games than a promotion candidate maybe should, we’re still up there (possibly until Brighton play).

“We have to sort out plan B.”

Kevin Christie:

“Terrible tonight. Didn’t deserve anything.

“Static, lacklustre, no energy or imagination. Stupid to put Colback in for Shelvey yet attempt to play the same way, assuming that was the plan…very difficult to tell.

“Tonight was a night for width, pace and imposing ourselves on the game from the off. We simply didn’t show up.

“Everyone terrible apart from Darlow. Hard to pinpoint who we need in January but more creativity in midfield is a must. Very lucky that Brighton are our only serious rivals.”

Toon Bano:

“Ask yourself what Keegan would do with this team?

“Yedlin and Lazaar flying full-backs, just one holding midfielder, two strikers – would we lose 1-0?

“Now he didn’t do too badly did he?

“Rafa has to change his defensive philosophy in home games – especially without Shelvey.

“Diabolical performance, again.”

Jamie Swan

“Merry effing Christmas!

“This was one massive undercooked turkey of a Boxing Day performance. A huge Brown paper parcel of dog shi*e. A turd not even rolled in glitter.

“The disappointing thing is you can’t say we really deserved anything from the game. You’d think the lads had eaten their weight In Toblerone and drank 18 pints of Guinness they way we trundled about today.

“From start to finish we were out-battled and played by a team who showed more urgency and a will to win.

“The last thing we wanted with Shelvey being out was our entire team being as potent as brewer’s droop. Alarm (jingle) bells ringing.

“We were slow, plodding about like puddings and so predictable it’s unreal. Aye there were loads of fouls but we can’t cry over that.

“When the chips are down we need to come up with something to scrape a draw. Norwich was a once a season result, being one nil down at home to mediocre teams with fire in their belly unfortunately for us this season – isn’t.

“A tad worrying…

“Revenge required. Only positive from the neet is Darlow is turning into an outstanding keeper.”

Here are the stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1

Goals – 

Sheffield Wednesday: Loovens 53

Possession was Sheff Wed 36% Newcastle 64%

Total shots were Sheff Wed 13 Newcastle 9

Shots on target were Sheff Wed 5 Newcastle 4

Corners were Sheff Wed 5 Newcastle 11

Newcastle starting 11:

Darlow, Anita, Clark, Lascelles, Dummett, Hayden, Colback (Mitrovic 80), Ritchie, Gouffran (Atsu 62), Diame (Perez 69), Gayle

Unused Subs:

Sels, Mbemba, Yedlin, Lazaar,

Referee: Paul Tierney

Crowd: 52,179

(To view the interactive Newcastle v Sheffield Wednesday player ratings and to add your own go HERE)