Manchester United defender Phil Jones has admitted that the north west giants deserved to lose to Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon, and that he and his teammates have been left “devastated” by the result.
A second-half Matt Ritchie strike was enough for the Magpies to secure an unlikely three points against the Red Devils, leaving Jose Mourinho, who is yet to win a league clash at St James’ Park with any club, and his men 16 points behind title rivals Manchester City.
The second-placed Premier League outfit did create chances in either half, with Anthony Martial and Alexis Sancez both denied while through on goal, however while speaking to MUTV in the fallout of their north east defeat, as quoted by Sky Sports, the England international acknowledged that he and his teammates simply did not do enough.
“I think the result was probably fair. I don’t think we deserved to win the game”, Jones said.
“We started slow and sloppy. The crowd were on their feet, they got momentum.
“Second half we had a few chances but we’re not kidding ourselves. We were not good enough today. We started too slow and couldn’t get to the rhythm of our game.
“We’ll have to play a lot better than that if we’re going to kick on and improve.”
Wins for Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool allowed the chasing pack to take a step closer to United, who now sit just six points ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea.
…If #ManUtd drop points ahead of the #ManchesterDerby we will have to give Man City a Guard of Honour at The Etihad.
This is our 5 games before the Derby
West Ham [A]
— @ManUtd_HQ (@ManUtd_HQ) February 12, 2018
However, should the Blues claim victory over West Bromwich Albion on Monday evening, that gap will be reduced to a mere three, and with competition for a place in next season’s Champions League intensifying, Jones admitted the Red Devils must improve.
“It was a disappointing day, but we have to go again”, the defender added. “That’s all we can do, that’s all we know. We’re disappointed, we’re devastated, but we have to improve.”