Jack Colback’s hoping Newcastle United can continue to quieten their critics – after letting their feet do the talking.
Steve McClaren’s side are looking for a third successive victory when they take on Aston Villa at St James’s Park on Saturday.
When you lose games in this league, you’re there to be shot at. You’ve got take that on the chin and reactJack Colback
Goals from Ayoze Perez and Aleksandar Mitrovic saw Newcastle beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at White Hart Lane at the weekend. The victory followed a 2-0 success over Liverpool at St James’s Park.
United climbed out of the Premier League’s relegation zone and up to 15th place on Sunday. But the mood was markedly different on Tyneside late last month after back-to-back defeats to Crystal Palace and league leaders Leicester City.
Asked about the turnaround, Colback said: “That’s football, really.
“You play against good teams, and Leicester are a good team. They’ve done that to other teams this season. We didn’t defend well against Palace, and got punished. They’re also a good team.
“As a team we have to stick together. It’ll be interesting how much Press we get this week.”
The midfielder went on: “You’ve got to take the good with the bad. When you lose games in this league, you’re there to be shot at.
“You’ve got take that on the chin and react, and I think that’s the biggest thing – we’ve shown a reaction.”
The performances against Palace and Leicester prompted a backlash from fans, while a number of ex-Newcastle players, including Alan Shearer, were critical of the team and club on Match of the Day.
Shearer, however, hailed the “superb effort and application” of United at White Hart Lane.
Asked if the criticism after the Palace game was “unwarranted”, Colback said: “It’s hard to say it’s unwarranted after a result like that.
“It’ll just be interesting to see how many ex-players and pundits give a comment this week about the performance.
“When you lose, especially at Newcastle, everyone seems to jump on it. You’ve got to deal with as a player, and it’s about the reaction.
“Certain players have earned the right to have their opinion. We’ve got to take that on the chin. That’s football. It’s a game of opinions.”
Newcastle had to come from behind at White Hart Lane, having conceded a first-half goal.
“We had a gameplan to stay compact,” said Colback. “It was working until they got the ball.
“We just said at half time ‘stay in the game – at 1-0 we’re still in it’. We got the equaliser, and then to get the winner was a great feeling.”
United’s players celebrated in front of the club’s jubilant travelling fans at the final whistle.
“The fans are great, and it was great to give a little back to them,” said Colback.
“We’ve maybe let them down a little so far this season, but it was a great result for us. I think back-to-back wins at any stage is really important.”