By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Alan Pardew admitted Newcastle's fourth Premier League defeat on the trot was "hard to take", after they went down 2-1 at Stoke City on Wednesday night.
Papiss Cisse's fourth goal of the season looked to have put the Magpies on track for all three points at the Britannia Stadium, but quick-fire strikes from Jonathan Walters and Cameron Jerome turned the contest in the hosts' favour late on.
United should not have left the Potteries empty-handed following a spirited display and their best performance in a number of games.
And Pardew told nufcTV: "It's a blow for us, because our fans who came tonight will know that we deserved to win.
"We were in a comfortable position, worked really hard all night and two sucker blows have cost us the game.
"They hadn't caused us a problem until a goal out of nothing really, and then a mistake for the second and we've ended up with no points.
"It's hard to look your players in the eye when they've delivered the game plan and put in great performance but you still lose. That is hard to take."