Nicky Butt admits Newcastle were shaken up by Derby County on Monday.
Butt said: "Hopefully this will be the kick up the backside we need. I can't think of a single player that played anywhere near the level that they are used to.
Newcastle could have moved into the top four with a win at Pride Park but barely tested Rams keeper Stephen Bywater.
Butt, 32, is as puzzled as the Toon fans why things went so badly wrong against a side who started the night bottom of the table and without a Premier League victory.
He added: "It is doubly disappointing because we started the season well and we could have got ourselves up the top of the table if we had done well against Derby. It wasn't to be. We didn't play well enough to get any points - so we congratulate them and move on.
"You would think we would have had the players to have been able to cope with what Derby threw at us. We have enough quality to be able to handle a team that works hard against us and never lets up. We didn't do that, though."