Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'No Excuses' for Our Cup Exit, Insists Sels; Magpies 'Failed to Take Cup Chances'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'No Excuses' for Our Cup Exit, Insists Sels; Magpies 'Failed to Take Cup Chances'

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Waugh Sports Writer @CHRISDHWAUGH

MATZ Sels insists Newcastle United can have no excuses for their embarrassing FA Cup exit at Oxford United - and stresses the focus must shift to the primary objective of claiming promotion.

Goals from Kane Hemmings, Curtis Nelson and Toni Martinez saw the League One U's inflict a painful defeat on Rafa Benitez's muchchanged Magpies.

Newcastle's fourth-round exit continued their wretched FA Cup record under Mike Ashley's ownership, with the club having never progressed to the last 16 since 2006.

Aleksandar Mitrovic missed a penalty, as well as three golden opportunities, at the Kassam and Sels admits Newcastle were punished for their profligacy. Now, however, he insists attention must turn to Wednesday night's home clash with Queens Park Rangers, as well as Saturday's match against Derby County, when the Magpies must strengthen their top-two position in the Championship.

Reading's two victories this week have cut Newcastle's lead over the third-placed Royals to just six points.

"I can understand the supporters," Sels, left, said.

"They expect more from the team. No excuses.

"They had to travel really far to see this game.

"We need the supporters. They are really important to us.

"You feel it when they're behind the team. We have to play better.

"We're very disappointed. We knew they would start aggressively.

"I think we created three big chances in the first half.

"Maybe we had to score, because in football if you don't take your chances you will get a goal against you.

"In the beginning there was one objective - to win the league.

"We have to focus on that now. We play twice at home so if we can have two good results it will be good for the season."

Oxford goalkeeper Simon East-Turn to Page 46 FROM BACK PAGE wood made two excellent saves from Mitrovic during the first half and five in all - including getting down low to deny the Serb from the penalty spot. …

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