Jonas Gutierrez

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Jonas Gutierrez insisted there were "no excuses" for Saturday's 4-0 defeat to Manchester City and has now pinpointed the next two weeks as the most important period of the season.

Having edged up the table in recent weeks, Newcastle found themselves just three places and three points outside of the bottom three after their second successive league loss.

Carlos Tevez, David Silva, Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure struck on a disappointing afternoon for United while Southampton and Wigan both claimed vital victories towards their efforts to beat the drop. 

The Magpies welcome Fulham and Sunderland to St. James' Park in their next two Barclays Premier League games and also have both legs of their Europa League quarter-final to come over the next fortnight.

And, speaking exclusively to nufc.co.uk at the Etihad Stadium, Gutierrez said: "We have to take a few more wins. We are not going to be safe with the points that we have so we need more points.

"We have two home games which are going to be difficult for us so the next 15 days are the most important of the year."

Manchester City have now won each of their last seven meetings with the Magpies and kept alive their faint title hopes with an impressive display against a United team shorn of players like Mathieu Debuchy, Davide Santon, Cheick Tiote and Massadio Haidara.

With captain Fabricio Coloccini and first-choice goalkeeper Tim Krul also sidelined, it was always going to be a tough test for Alan Pardew's team but Gutierrez refused to hide behind such facts.

"No excuses - we have to do better," he said.

"They have good players but we have to play better than we did today. We know that it's a hard place to come - they're the champions, they have fantastic players, but we have to start the game with a higher ambition, a higher intensity, because if not you have a defeat like today.

"I think after half time, we started playing like we should have started the first half but then I think the third goal killed us.

"But we had to attack them from the beginning, not wait until half time because normally in the Premier League it can be too late.

"We were missing important players who had injuries but we have players who can come in to do the job the same way.

"But if all the players want to play, when they have the opportunity they have to play great to not miss their chance."

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