West Bromwich Albion club captain Darren Moore last night boldly shouldered the blame for his side's demoralising 3-0 second half destruction by Newcastle United at The Hawthorns.
Class told as clinical finishing from Michael Owen (twice) and Alan Shearer sentenced Albion to their fourth home defeat of the season - just a fortnight after the delirium of the Baggies beating Arsenal in the previous home game.
It was a defeat so disappointing for Albion manager Bryan Robson that he did not attend the customary postmatch press conference. And it was left to Moore, partially at fault for all three goals, to typically stand up and be counted when it came to who took the blame.
"When you win games you take all the pats on the back," said Moore. "But when you lose you've got to take the flak and we're big enough and ugly enough to take it.
"The gaffer is very disappointed at the individual mistakes which have cost us the game and I have to shoulder some of the responsibility.
"What happened out there was nothing to do with the gaffer. He can work as hard as he likes with us in training all week, but once you cross that white line it's all about the 11 players.
"He didn't have to read the riot act to us afterwards. I'm gutted and disgusted.
"And, speaking on behalf of the players, we want to take the blame. We feel disappointed for the gaffer because those second half mistakes don't reflect on what the manager is all about.
"Even at 1-0 we had some chances and felt we were still in the game. But, while it was a great finish by Michael Owen for the first goal, I gifted him the goal and, if you make mistakes like that, nine times out of ten you'll get punished.
"Playing against Michael Owen and Alan Shearer was no harder to deal with than any other striker from any other club in this league, as you're playing against world class players week in, week out.
"But this showed the fine line. Anyone watching that might have thought 'How was that a 3-0?'. But against players of that calibre you get punished."
Robson was without five players, the crucial absence of the suspended Paul Robinson meaning that Neil Clement had to revert to left back and the ring-rusty Moore stayed in for only his second league start of the season.
But, coming on top of such an impressive performance in their previous outing in front of their own fans, the weight of last night's home defeat (the heaviest since Liverpool's 5-0 stroll last Boxing Day) was made to feel even harder to bear for Moore and his men.
"In front of our home fans, we feel capable of beating anybody," said Moore. "And we arrived here up for back to back home wins, which has made us feel it even more.
"We feel we've lost enough games here already and want to start putting that right.
"It suggested when we beat Arsenal that we'd turned the corner.
"But, just like at Bolton when we played well for 80 minutes then got punished, it's happened again.
"We've conceded late goals here again. And it's a lesson to us that we've got to stay mentally strong for 90 minutes."
Graeme Souness offered a little solace to the downbeat Albion players.
He said: "You have to give a lot of praise to Shay Given for the great double save he made at 1-0.
"If that had gone in, it would have been 1-1 and a completely different story as they'd have then had their tails up."