Conor Gallagher graciously admitted that Newcastle deserved the three points yesterday and insists Chelsea have a lot to improve on after the World Cup break.
The Blues were edged out 1-0 at St James’ Park on Saturday evening, with Joe Willock’s second-half strike securing the points in a game where Chelsea were mainly at second best to Eddie Howe’s Magpies.
Gallagher, who will now join up with the England squad ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, believes the Blues need to ‘take a look at ourselves’ following a performance that was below the standard Chelsea usually set.
‘I don’t think we were good enough and I think Newcastle deserved to win,’ Conor honestly admitted.
‘We’ve got to be better and we need to take a look at ourselves. Physically, they were stronger than us and a lot more intense and that’s something we need to improve on.
‘If we want to be challenging for titles and things like that, then we need to be so much better and Newcastle showed that. So we need to look at ourselves because we know there’s a lot to improve on.’
The midfielder started in an attacking midfield role on Tyneside and went close to opening the scoring shortly after the break, curling an effort towards the far corner that Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope did superbly well to tip behind the post and out for a corner.
That was the closest Chelsea came to breaching the Newcastle rearguard, and we were punished soon after when Willock fired home the winner.
Gallagher was asked about his effort when speaking to us post-match but the Cobham graduate was quick to praise his international team-mate Pope for a smart save.
‘I thought it was a bit of a soft shot to be honest and knowing how big Pope is, he got across to cover the goal well,’ he said.
‘I was obviously hoping it would creep in, which would have been nice. When you’re not playing that well and you get a goal, it brings you back in the game and gives us a chance to go on and win the game.
‘As it turned out, we conceded soon after that chance and that’s really disappointing from our perspective.’