David de Gea did not hold back in a scathing assessment of Manchester United’s performance in their 1-0 defeat at Newcastle on Sunday, saying he has not experienced a worse time at the club.
A debut goal from teenage midfielder Matty Longstaff was enough to seal victory for Newcastle in a drab Premier League game at St James’ Park, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side barely threatening throughout.
An Andreas Pereira shot from range and a scuffed header from Harry Maguire were as close as they got to troubling Martin Dubravka in the Magpies’ net as the result stretched their Premier League winless run to eight away games, and ten in all competitions – their last win on the road coming in the Champions League at Paris Saint-Germain.
"We didn't create any proper chances,” De Gea fumed on Sky Sports. “We defended well. The team needs to step up.
“We have some big injuries but that’s no excuse. We are Manchester United, we need to keep training hard, fighting and winning games."
The only goal of the game came from a Manchester United corner, with the home side breaking through Allan Saint-Maximin who teed up Longstaff to drill home from the edge of the area.
The international break may well come as a relief for some United fans, but it presents Solskjaer with a difficult couple of weeks – unless a decision is made on the struggling manager’s fate before then.
After the break, United’s first fixture sees them take on title-chasing Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s side have a perfect record in the league after eight games, are on a 17-match winning run in the Premier League, and sit 15 points and 11 places above United.
United therefore have plenty to work on before then, and when asked what they had to improve, De Gea replied bluntly: "Everything. A lot of things to improve. I don’t know what to say.
“Keep trying, fighting, improving every day. It’s a hard moment for us.
"[This is] the most difficult time since I’ve been here. I don’t know why, what is happening. Sorry to the fans. We will keep fighting.
"Come on, we conceded a goal from a corner. That cannot happen. It’s unacceptable."