Phil Jones has admitted Manchester United deserved to lose against Newcastle on Sunday and says he and his team-mates are devastated at the result.
United lost 1-0 at St James` Park in a result that left them 16 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
It continued manager Jose Mourinho`s record of never winning a league game at Newcastle, but Jones admits United did not deserve to take anything from the match.
Speaking to MUTV, he said: I think the result was probably fair. I don`t think we deserved to win the game.
We started slow and sloppy. The crowd were on their feet, they got momentum.
Second half we had a few chances but we`re not kidding ourselves. We were not good enough today. We started too slow and couldn`t get to the rhythm of our game.
We`ll have to play a lot better than that if we`re going to kick on and improve.
Wins for Tottenham and Liverpool at the weekend mean the gap between second-placed United and fifth-placed Chelsea is now just six points - and it could be reduced to just three if Chelsea win their game in hand against West Brom on Monday, live on Sky Sports.
Chelsea vs W Brom
February 12, 2018, 7:00pm
With the competition for places in next season`s Champions League intensifying, Jones admits United need to improve.
He said: A lot of teams around us keep drawing, losing points and there is a lot still to play for.
It was a disappointing day, but we have to go again. That`s all we can do, that`s all we know. We`re disappointed, we`re devastated, but we have to improve.