Diogo Dalot has challenged Manchester United to win all of their remaining games to bring a season of rebuilding to a successful conclusion.
Erik ten Hag’s men were beaten for just the second time in 17 outings in all competitions when they were outplayed by Newcastle at St James’ Park on Sunday and ultimately went down 2-0, slipping below the Magpies into fourth place as a result.
They return to Premier League action on Wednesday, when Brentford head for Old Trafford, the second of nine fixtures in April including a two-legged Europa League quarter-final against Sevilla, and defender Dalot is confident they will bounce back from their reverse on Tyneside.
The 24-year-old told MUTV: “We have to focus on ourselves. We know it’s all about us.
“If we control games, if we play like we have the ability to play, I think we can win every game. This is our aim.
“I think this is the consistency that we have to show on the pitch every single game and on Wednesday, we have to show a reaction.”
Shorn of the service of the suspended Casemiro at Newcastle, United were a shadow of the side which defeated Newcastle 2-0 at Wembley in February’s Carabao Cup final.
David De Gea had already denied Alexander Isak and Joe Willock with a fine double save and seen Sean Longstaff and Willock go close to the opening goal when the former Arsenal midfielder headed the home side in front with 65 minutes gone.
Had he not turned substitute Joelinton’s header onto the crossbar, Eddie Howe’s men would have been home and dry long before Callum Wilson converted Kieran Trippier’s 88th-minute free-kick to seal a deserved victory.
Dalot admitted ultimately Newcastle had wanted victory more.
He said: “Disappointment is the word. We wanted to come here and do what we planned. We tried, we tried to find spaces.
“We knew that they wanted to press high. Even after that we tried to play, we tried to find spaces. We could have been a little bit more patient, especially in the last third. In the final third we could have been a little bit more patient with the ball and find better spaces, and try to create more chances.
“That was it overall. We have to show desire. We have to beat them in desire, we have to beat them in every challenge that we have, every duel. And I think they wanted it a little bit more than us today, and that cannot happen.”
The visitors had gone into the game with their 7-0 humiliation at Liverpool the only blemish on their record since January, and Dalot admitted only a return to that level of consistency would help them achieve their aims.
He said: “If you want to fight for more, if you want to be there competing for the Premier League, we have to be more consistent.”