The 26-year-old said: “As captain, I’m not going to sit here and lie – we’ve not done well,” the 26-year-old, who was speaking at an event promoting Kickz, an initiative that aims to enhance the development of young people, said.
“This season has not been good enough by any means, but there is no hiding from the fact we’ve had a massive, massive injury list.
“People might read this and think I’m making excuses, that I’m leaning on something to help me out of a hole, but look at Chelsea. They had one player missing – John Terry – for a couple of months and, by their standards, they struggled. At times this season we had eight players or more missing and, to be fair, any side, whether they were Chelsea or Manchester United, would struggle to cope with that.
“It hasn’t been good enough this season for Newcastle and we’re not trying to hide from that, but the injuries are one of the major reasons for that. All we can do is learn from this and come back stronger next year. You’d like to think this season has been a bit of a freak year with injuries, but this is Newcastle United, so you never know what’s going to happen.”