Luke Shaw believes Manchester United lacked “passion, desire, hunger and attitude” in an “unacceptable” performance in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Newcastle United.
A brilliant display from the Magpies saw Eddie Howe’s men leapfrog the Red Devils into third in the Premier League as goals from Joe Willock and Callum Wilson condemned them to defeat in their first game since the international break.
Erik ten Hag’s side have now failed to score in three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since February 2020 as they mustered just one shot on target at St James’ Park, a tame long-range shot from Antony that Nick Pope comfortably saved.
With this winless three-match run dragging them back into the dogfight for the Champions League places, Shaw felt Sunday’s dismal display was a couple of games in the making, declaring Newcastle won the match with their superior mentality rather than their footballing ability.
“[We were] not good enough,” Shaw told Sky Sports. “As a team, we have to be honest. I do think Newcastle are a very good side but I don’t think they won the game on quality today.
“I think they won it on passion, desire, hunger, attitude. They clearly had that higher motivation, and that [cannot] be possible.
“It’s not acceptable and we know that. It was a massive game today and they wanted it more. At Man United, that cannot be possible.
“You need that motivation, you need that passion, hunger, attitude, because it’s an extremely tough place to come to, here. If we don’t have that, we’re going to suffer. It was obvious on the pitch. We didn’t create too much, to be honest.
“I think maybe you could say it has been coming. Before the international break, we had dropped levels, and it was clear to see today they were not there.”
Shaw’s side will look to get back on track on Wednesday, when they host a Brentford side at Old Trafford who are themselves looking for European qualification.
The left-back acknowledged that will be a difficult fixture, saying: “We have three days to pick it back up because Brentford is going to be a tough game.
“We’re a team. When we go out on that pitch, we all need to fight for each other. Sometimes, this season, maybe it’s not shown like that. I’m sure we’ll go through it all again and speak again. We need to realise the problems, and change them quick, because we can still have a very good season.”