Jack Colback says the past few months have been a “wake-up call” for everyone at Newcastle United.
The Magpies stayed up on the final day of the Premier League season, but Colback insists he and his team-mates were not in the mood to celebrate after Sunday’s 2-0 win over West Ham lifted them to safety in 15th place.
And the midfielder feels that the Tynesiders must learn lessons from the past few months – and their slide down the table.
“Questions have to be asked as to why this happened,” said Colback, who joined Newcastle from Sunderland last summer.
“We have to try to understand why we had such a bad demise. Obviously, we had injuries and suspensions, and they didn’t help, but it’s probably a wake-up call for everybody at the club.”
After securing a first win since February, Colback added: “We didn’t really want to celebrate the fact we stayed in the league, because that should be the bare minimum.
“We got ourselves into a difficult position in the second half of the season, and we should never have got ourselves into that mess.
“But that’s football, and it’s a tough league. When you get into the kind of run that we had, it can be hard to get yourself back out.
“At least, in the end, we did get ourselves out of it. The fans can vent their anger however they want to now, but hopefully we can forget about the season and have a really good go next season.”
Owner Mike Ashley has pledged to “invest” in the club, and the Magpies will issue a statement soon outlining their revised aims and ambitions.
More immediately, managing director Lee Charnley must identify a permanent successor to Alan Pardew, who left St James’s Park at the turn of the year with the team in the top 10.
However, there are not expected to be any significant developments over the next 48 hours.
And it is not certain that Newcastle will approach previous target Steve McClaren, sacked by Derby this week, a third time.
Carver, head coach for the second half of the season, still wants the job, but fans are keen for an external appointment. Carver will go off on holiday tomorrow looking to relax after a fraught few months on and off the field.