Newcastle boss Alan Pardew admits it was a "painful day" for his side as they went down 2-1 to Reading.
United looked in good shape at the break when leading through Yohan Cabaye's free-kick but two goals from substitute Adam Le Fondre gave Reading their first top-flight away win since 2008.
Newcastle are now just two points ahead of Reading and firmly entrenched in the relegation battle.
"It was a painful day for Newcastle," he told Sky Sports.
"First half we could not have played better, you could see the extra quality. At that point you'd like to think we'd get away from them, but second half we could not get a grip of the game and, as well as we defended, we gave away two sloppy goals.
"When you're down the bottom things go against you and we lost our way a bit. It was a tough day for us today, we felt we were in a really good place to win today and we couldn't and that is a worry."
The home crowd were furious when Cabaye came off on 73 minutes, but Pardew confirmed it was down to his recent groin injury as this was his first start for two months.
"We had to take Cabaye off because of an injury; that brought negative reaction from the crowd and that spread around," Pardew added.
"We need some impetus in terms of signings. It needs a little boost, to get everyone to get their heads up.
"We have lost Demba Ba and Cheik Tiote. We have got Cabaye back, but he is just on the first stage of his comeback. We needed him towards the end of the game.
"He said he was struggling with his groin. I did not want to take him off, but when a top player tells you he's injured you listen to him."
what do you think?
taxi for pardew!!! was there yesterday,whole team clueless,up front cissi and ameobi dont play together,anita marveax run around like headless chickens creating very little,santon and guiteerez pass the ball back and foward to each other and going nowhere apart from back through colochini of which every thing seems to have to go back to him till he decides who to give the ball too,cabaye good goal but maybe finding his fitness??williamson is like titus shambles,debuchay looks a possible for future if we can only make something of the mess we have in players!!! in the position they are in they should be coming out of the starting traps a million miles per hour and have some strong fight in there belly and give it there all !!! we are not seeing that MR PARDEW you have run out of excuses this is down to you!! and money bags ashley has to share some of the blame,can see us only heading for the championship,you do not deserve such loyal and faithfull fans,
Well they sacked Chris Hughton what goes around comes around. Sorry for the fans they always loyal but get no say!!!!