Watford 2 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 5 May 3pm
We asked a number of our regular writers to give us a brief instant reaction after the final whistle.
Newcastle going down to a poor defeat to Watford, a top half finish now definitely in the balance.
A dreadful first half and at least a reaction and improvement after the break. Small positives.
“Sorry s… show continues in spite of a much improved second half.
“No desire from these players to finish as high as they can.
“Dwight Gayle looks like he’ll never score another goal and those given a chance to impress wasted it.
“After designs on 8th place we’ll likely slide to about 14th after an unprofessional switch off post-Arsenal.
“Players on the beach without question, and with people trekking to London midweek for another dead game at Wembley of all places, hopefully they’ll be shamed into some sort of coherence.”
“First half was awful, last half hour much better.
“Dubravka did well, Shelvey top class, Diame a powerhouse, but not many of the others can look at today and say they did their bit.
“Yedlin and Ritchie did their bit when they came on but that says as much about Manquillo and Murphy as it does their replacements.
“Credit to their boss for playing two strikers.
“They battered us until half time and they got their rewards for being bold.
“We need a bit of that sometimes.
“We don’t have much up front and we don’t go for it very often.”
“Every time this club has looked up the table this season we’ve hit a bad run.
“Thankfully, this latest has all come after the Lord Mayor’s show, with Premier League safety in the bag.
“But that doesn’t mean I’m over the moon that we keep getting beat.
“Undone today by a poor first half showing in the baking heat, and chasing it at 2-0 down before Dubravka, to his great credit, saved that ludicrous spot kick.
“I was worried when I saw the names of Manquillo and Murphy on the team sheet. The squad, overall, remains lacking in some quality.
“It may send a message that NUFC have to invest this summer but it comes at the cost of losing games.
“Are we going to win another game this season?”
“I joked that we might finish 10th even if we lost the last 5 games.
“I didn’t seriously want the theory tested…
“Maybe this is part of Rafa’s master plan to ensure adequate funding is granted in the summer…
“Gave ourselves a mountain to climb in the 2nd half after a calamitous 1st, decent finish by Perez.”
“I haven’t managed many aways and wondering why I made the effort for this one.
“Especially as not many of the players turned up.
“I think today tells us two things…
“When the team drops below their best ‘intensity’, they aren’t good enough.
“Also, we have just about got a first eleven but after that there is very little quality.
“This summer we need four or five to come into the first team, four or five current first teamers to become regular subs, with a lot more than four or five having to find new clubs.”
“Haven’t had many good experiences going to an away game, when it is the last home game of the season for the other team, and this was no exception!
“Second half was better than the first…but still a disappointing performance overall.
“Here’s hoping for better things at Wembley on Wednesday…”
“Five one on aggregate this season against a bang average Watford team.
“Would have been more if not for Dubravka saving the penalty.
“Too late waiting for the second half with a bit of fight, after playing in flip flops and Speedos in the first half.
“All the plaudits in the world go to Rafa and the boys for staying up – but the mutual back slapping needs to stop pronto, or we are going to have a pretty desperate end to the season.
“Wake up boys.”
“It is a real shame how we look to be finishing the season.
“Likely there will be a couple of more defeats to finish it off.
“However, with the likes of Southampton, Swansea and Huddersfield terrified of going down over the next week, we can be grateful to watch on and look forward to next season.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Watford 2 Newcastle 1
Watford: Pereyra 2, Gray 28
Newcastle: Perez 55
Possession was Watford 39% Newcastle 61%
Total shots were Watford 11 Newcastle 9
Shots on target were Watford 8 Newcastle 1
Corners were Watford 2 Newcastle 5
Referee: Roger East
Dubravka, Manquillo (Yedlin 67), Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Murphy (Ritchie 53), Shelvey, Diame (Merino 84), Kenedy, Perez, Gayle
Darlow, Hayden, Joselu, Haidara
Crowd; 20,375 (2,000 Newcastle)
(At least Rafa’s half-time ‘chat’ woke NUFC up at Watford – Read HERE)