Clark’s admission will frustrate fans who witnessed the complete 3-0 defeat, leaving Newcastle’s Premier League status hanging by a thread.
Steve Bruce was facing calls for him to go this weekend, but United made it clear on Sunday that they would be staying with a manager who has only won two of the last 20 games.
Only Ryan Fraser spoke afterward, but Clark has now spoken after meeting his international teammates ahead of Ireland’s World Cup qualifiers.
He told the Press Association: “Three games before we had three draws and we could have won two of those games. We have been pretty confident and we have been in the last few weeks.
“Saturday night we weren’t ready for that as a group of players. For some reason it didn’t work for us. It was the most disappointing thing, the way we played the previous weeks, we didn’t. take in the game, such a big game too. ”
Clark is counting on Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin to dig Newcastle out of the Premier League hole they have plunged into.
“” The international break has probably come at a good time for us now. We have time to recover injured players. Hopefully we can see the remaining games with a team in great shape, probably with the exception of Isaac Hayden, who was injured, ”he said.
The fate of Newcastle is deeply concerning – they have won just two of their last 20 games in all competitions and are just two points clear of the drop zone with Fulham reborn on their heels.
However, it was the manner of the defeat at the AMEX stadium that was the biggest cause for concern as they obediently surrendered without leaving a trace on their opponents.
Clark said: “The result was really disappointing. We knew each other as a group that was an opportunity there to gain points and withdraw a bit, and we didn’t. Obviously everyone was gutted after the game, and really frustrated. ”
Clark will now turn his attention to the task of helping Ireland launch in style their World Cup qualifying campaign in Group A as they aim for victory in Serbia on Wednesday night.
The former Aston Villa man is a veteran of his country’s last trip to Belgrade – he came as a late replacement in a 2-2 World Cup qualifying draw in September 2016 – and knows exactly what to expect from the Serbs, and in particular their out of form striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, a former Magpies teammate currently playing his football at Fulham.
He said: “Mitro, we had a good season together at Newcastle before moving on and he showed how good he is and what a threat he can be.
“We have to be on top, and the other players they have. It’s a quality team. If we stay focused, give it our all, then we have a chance. ”