By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Yohan Cabaye made a goalscoring return to Newcastle United's starting line-up, but would have swapped his stunning strike for all three points against Reading.
Despite leading at half-time through Cabaye's glorious free-kick, the Magpies suffered a 2-1 home defeat to leave themselves just two points above the Premier League relegation zone.
The French international lasted 74 minutes on his first start since the middle of November following groin surgery, and was United's stand-out player, creating numerous chances for others and himself during a dominant first half.
But it was a different story after the break, and Cabaye told nufc.co.uk "Words are not going to be enough to explain our frustration.
"We lost an important game and we are all very disappointed.
"We played two games today, I think.
"One, in the first half, was good and we had chances to score but unfortunately their keeper was brilliant.
"Then in the second half it was more difficult because we had used a lot of energy in the first half to press and to play quick.
"That is not an excuse though, and we now have to focus on playing two halves against Aston Villa, because today we lost three points at home today and those three points were very important."
Cabaye's strike was his third goal of another eye-catching campaign for the former Lille man, and while he was delighted to be back in the thick of the action, a Newcastle win was top of the midfielder's wish list.
"It was so long for me," Cabaye said of his time on the sidelines.
"I was missing the game and now I am back much earlier than predicted.
"Yes, I scored, but I would prefer to score a goal where the team wins after or to not score at all and we get three points."