Newcastle Utd 1 Fulham 3: Daryl Murphy insists that Mags have to improve home form in Championship run-in

Woe for Newcastle's ex-Sunderland pair Daryl Murphy and Jack Colback. Picture by Frank Reid
Woe for Newcastle's ex-Sunderland pair Daryl Murphy and Jack Colback. Picture by Frank Reid
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Daryl Murphy says Newcastle United MUST improve their home form after a fifth Championship defeat at St James’s Park.

Ex-Sunderland striker Murphy came off the bench and scored in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to impressive Fulham.

Ryan Sessegnon gets a lift after putting Fulham 3-0 up at Newcastle. Picture by Frank Reid

Ryan Sessegnon gets a lift after putting Fulham 3-0 up at Newcastle. Picture by Frank Reid

The damaging defeat, which came on manager Rafa Benitez’s one-year anniversary on Tyneside, left the Championship leaders just six points ahead of third-placed Huddersfield, who have a game in hand.

It also ended an 11-match unbeaten run in the league, as Tom Cairney and two-goal 16-year-old Ryan Sessegnon did the damage, completing a league double for play-off hopefuls Fulham.

Tim Ream even had the luxury of a late missed penalty for the visitors.

“We’re gutted,” said Murphy. “We’ve been unbeaten for quite a while now, and to lose at home the way we did is very disappointing.”

On his fifth goal of the season, the Irishman added: “I scored, but it counted for nothing. We still got beat.

“It is disappointing.You want to come on and try and make something happen and score a goal, but we didn’t really threaten after that.”

Newcastle – who visit Birmingham City this Saturday – had taken seven points from a run of three tough away games against Reading, Huddersfield and Brighton.

And Benitez’s side looked mentally and physically tired against Fulham.

Asked if the away games had taken a toll on the players, Murphy said: “It’s tough, but we can’t be making excuses.

“We knew what Fulham are about. They’re a good side and like to play football. They create a lot of chances. We probably gave them too much respect. They got on the ball quiet easily and made things happen.

“That’s not us, especially at home. We have to be better. All of us know that.

“The game has gone now, and we can’t do anything about it. We can only work hard during the week and get a win.”

Five of Newcastle’s nine remaining matches are at St James’s Park.

Asked about the home form, Murphy, 33, added: “That’s something we need to put right.

“We have to look at ourselves and make sure when teams come here they don’t like it (playing at St James’s Park).

“It’s going to take a lot of hard work, but when we’re at home, we should be dominating teams. We’ve not done that (against Fulham).

“We need to forget about it. It’s gone. We can’t anything about. We can only make it right (against Birmingham).”

Newcastle: Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Clark (Gamez 64), Dummett, Atsu, Colback, Shelvey, Ritchie, Diame (Murphy 61), Gayle (Gouffran 74). Subs not used: Hanley, Perez, Elliot, Mitrovic. Booked: Atsu, Clark, Shelvey, Dummett. Goal: Murphy 76

Fulham: Button, Odoi, Kalas, Ream, Malone, McDonald, Johansen (Parker 90), Kebano (Fredericks 84), Cairney, Sessegnon, Aluko (Cyriac 88). Subs not used: Bettinelli, Madl, Sigurdsson, Martin. Booked: McDonald, Malone. Goals: Cairney 15, Sessegnon 51, 59.

Att: 51,903. Ref: James Linington (Isle of Wight).