By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Davide Santon believes Newcastle United's travelling supporters had every right to boo the Magpies following Saturday's 4-0 defeat at Southampton.
A Jay Rodriguez brace and goals from fellow England internationals Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana secured maximum points for the hosts at St. Mary's, but the scoreline could have been even more emphatic as the Saints dominated from start to finish.
More than 2,000 fans made the long trek from Tyneside to the south coast but were left frustrated and voiced their anger at the final whistle.
And, according to Santon, that was a reaction the players deserved.
"It was a very poor performance," the Italian international full-back told nufc.co.uk following the final whistle.
"I understand the fans' reaction at the end. I went over to say thank you, like I always do, and they booed.
"But I understand that because they deserve more from us and they are right.
"They come every single game, they pay a lot of money and travel a long way to support us, they sing for us and they do not deserve this performance.
"We weren't good enough. We looked like we played with no passion and that we just want the season to finish, but that isn't true.
"It could have been 8-0 or 9-0 today but Rob Elliot made a few good saves. We didn't shoot at all. I don't know if their keeper even got his gloves dirty or not.
"It doesn't have to be like this. We have to put in good effort in every single game until the end of the season.
"Even though we know we cannot get a place in Europe or any competition now, we have to still play our best and that is what we didn't do today."
Santon stepped off the substitutes' bench for his first appearance in more than six weeks, following injury and illness.
And while he was glad to return to action, he was very unhappy with United's display.
"I'm not 100 per cent yet but it was nice to be back," explained the 23-year-old.
"I've had problems with my knee, my hamstring and then I have been ill, so it has been very frustrating.
"It was good to play 45 minutes, to get my feeling with the ball and the team back but not good to be in a game like today. We have to put it right."