Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira knew his side were in for a tough encounter against in-form Newcastle United.
The Eagles were unable to bounce back from their FA Cup semi-final heartbreak to Chelsea on Sunday after Miguel Almiron’s goal settled the game in the Magpies’ favour on 33 minutes.
The 1-0 victory saw Eddie Howe’s side move onto 40 points - 15 above the Premier League relegation zone - and sit level on points with 10th place Brighton and Hove Albion.
Asked about playing at St James’ Park, where Newcastle have recorded six straight wins, their best return since 2004 under Sir Bobby Robson, Vieira said: “They are in a really good period winning games and that gives confidence and belief and the fans following in behind.
“We know it would be a tough place to come but I was expecting us to compete a little bit more, especially in the first-half an hour.
“When we concede the goal, it became a little bit difficult to get back.”
Speaking about the game, Vieira felt his side were improved in the second-half but failed to break down a solid Newcastle defence of Emil Krafth, Fabian Schar, Dan Burn and Matt Targett.
“I think the second half was quite positive in our way,” the former Arsenal midfielder said. “Of course, losing the FA Cup, mentally and physically was quite challenging.
“We have a young group of players who need to learn from those kinds of games how to bounce back from a game like that.
“I think we struggled to get into the game in the first half an hour and we were really slow in our passes. We didn’t compete well enough.
“And then, of course, we concede that goal. And in the second half, we tried our best but really we couldn’t score.”