Newcastle boss Alan Pardew felt his side deserved much better after watching the Magpies slip to a fourth consecutive Barclays Premier League defeat at Stoke last night.
It is the first time the club have endured such a miserable run since 2008, the season they were relegated, and their form is a far cry from the success of the last campaign.
It looked like Newcastle would record a first away victory of the season when Papiss Cisse put them in front two minutes into the second half, and they were still ahead when the game entered the final 10 minutes.
But in the 81st minute Cameron Jerome crossed for Jonathan Walters to head in, and four minutes later two substitutes combined as Kenwyne Jones set up Jerome for the winner.
Pardew said after the 2-1 loss: "Sometimes you have a game plan and your players see it through to the letter and it's pretty galling to look them in the eye and say they've come away with nothing, which I had to do.
"A couple of mistakes cost us the game, and we didn't make many mistakes. It's a tough result for us to take."
Pardew also felt his side should have had a second-half penalty for handball, but he hopes the improved showing bodes well for future games.
"That's the sort of break you need when you're on a run like ours and we didn't get it," he said of the penalty shout.
"But I look at my team and it was such an improved performance. There was real commitment, a good balance to the team, and, if you're going to get a victory, that's the sort of performance that's going to lead you to one."
Stoke had huffed and puffed without really looking like getting back into the game until manager Tony Pulis introduced Jerome and Michael Kightly midway through the second half, but he insisted the credit should not be directed his way.
The Potters boss said: "I've always got this thing in the back of my mind that when people say, 'Oh, he's made changes, he's been brilliant'.
"Why didn't I start with Michael Kightly, why didn't I start with Cameron? That's how brilliant I am.
"The lads have been fantastic, they've not played much this year but the spirit has been very good and their commitment to the group has been fantastic."
The only negative for Stoke was the loss in the first half of Peter Crouch, who was caught in the mouth by a flailing arm from Fabio Coloccini.
Pulis said: "He wanted to carry on until he saw his teeth in the doc's hands, and then he nearly fainted. He'll need some work on that. I haven't seen it (the challenge) but I don't think there was any malice in it."