Steve McClaren lamented Newcastle’s “tough Christmas” after they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Watford on Saturday.
Odion Ighalo and Craig Cathcart put Watford 2-0 up at Vicarage Road before Newcastle pulled one back through Jamaal Lascelles. However, the visitors couldn’t get a second and Watford earned all three points.
McClaren told BBC Sport: “We started the game so well and looked in control. The two goals really killed us. It’s disappointing – we fought and came back. We threw everything at them – it wasn’t our day.
“We talked about focus and the first 10 minutes being important. The second goal was from an aimless cross into the box. We then had a mountain to climb.
“Apart from the two goals – the performance was terrific. We’ve got to get it right at both ends. We’ve had a tough Christmas. The last few results we’ve been growing and getting better. We lick our wounds and go again.”