Christian Atsu reveals major Newcastle weakness in Ipswich defeat
By Dominic Toner
Newcastle midfielder Christian Atsu believes that his side were not compact enough in their defeat against Ipswich on Monday.
The Magpies suffered a 3-1 away loss at Portman Road in the Championship and they are now without a win in their last three matches.
Ipswich produced arguably their performance of the season to stifle Newcastle as they cruised to three points.
Rafael Benitez’s side remain second in the league standings and on course to clinch automatic promotion, but are wary of chasers Huddersfield.
David Wagner’s Huddersfield will move just four points behind them if they win their game in hand, but Newcastle will guarantee promotion if they win two of their remaining three fixtures.
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Atsu revealed his frustration with the Ipswich loss and highlighted the key areas that made the difference.
“We’re really disappointed we lost this game, but we have three more games to play, we are still in a good position, and we have to keep fighting until the end,” Atsu said, as quoted by the club’s official website. “We didn’t start well, and we gave them confidence.
“We were not compact. But we have three more games to play and something to fight for, so we have to keep on doing that.”
Newcastle still have their promotion hopes in their own hands and will now be focused on their home match against Preston on Monday.
They then travel to Cardiff on the penultimate game of the season, before finishing the campaign at St James’ Park against Barnsley.
Benitez’s side were the pre-season favourites to gain promotion to the Premier League and they watched league rivals Brighton secure their promotion on Easter Monday.
In other Newcastle news, Don Hutchinson has delivered his verdict on the club’s promotion bid.