Graham Potter pointed to injuries and a lack of quality in decisive moments as reasons behind our defeat away at Newcastle United.

The Blues were beaten by a Joe Willock strike midway through the second half, one of just five shots on target in the game. Our best effort came from Conor Gallagher just before the hosts broke the deadlock yet Potter conceded that his players had not done enough to win the game on Tyneside.

‘It was a tough game for us,’ he said afterwards. ‘Losing Ruben early and Azpi at half-time doesn’t make it easy for us. You could see the two teams’ different schedules, Newcastle with one game a week and us after a six-week period with a lot of matches. It probably took its toll.

‘The boys gave a lot but we lacked a bit of quality. There were too many unforced errors. When we tried to play we got through a couple of times, but there wasn’t enough quality.

‘In a game of not too many chances, they get the winner, and as much as we push at the end, it wasn’t enough.’

Potter admitted injuries hampered his team on the night…

‘It doesn’t make it any easier, also playing against a team in a really good moment and playing with huge intensity. The first half was relatively even, they started the second half better so we had to adjust and I thought we did that.

‘Conor had an opportunity, Pope pulled off a good save, but credit to Newcastle because they’re playing well.’

There was a further update on Azpilicueta’s knock…

‘He was feeling his calf. I’m not sure where it leaves him with Spain. I don’t think it was too bad but nevertheless not well enough to carry on.’

Finally, Potter reflected on the weeks ahead and the World Cup break…

‘It’s been tough. We’re not in a great moment. We have to lick our wounds. We have a break now so we have to refocus, reenergise and hopefully get some players back. It’s been an incredibly intense period.

‘You have to accept the struggles you’ve had and then move forward. It’s change of scenery, a change of focus and when everyone comes back we can start again.’