Alex Neil did not believe his Norwich City side deserved their 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace in a game he did not enjoy watching.
It is 20 years in May since Norwich last won at Palace and their failure to get a point, courtesy of Jason Puncheon’s goal, meant Aston Villa survived for another day.
The loss also means the Canaries can still join Villa in being demoted, piling more importance on next Saturday’s clash with Sunderland.
“It was always going to be a big match. The game today doesn’t change that,” Neil said.
The Black Cats are four points behind but have two games in hand, the first against leaders Leicester City on Sunday.
Norwich, who had beaten West Brom and Newcastle in successive games, appealed in vain for a first-half penalty after Damien Delaney’s challenge on Matt Jarvis.
Asked about the penalty, Neil said: “I feel probably more aggrieved about the fact that I didn’t think either team did enough to win the game. I don’t think it was a game where Crystal Palace did any better than us.
“(The game) was a bit of a non-event. I didn’t really enjoy watching it.
“You could see in both teams how much it meant. It was one of those games where it was going to be decided by a bit of quality or a mistake.
“A bit of quality from Jason Puncheon managed to get the points for them.”
Pardew described Delaney’s challenge as “robust” and praised Michael Oliver as the best referee in the Premier League.
“Matt was adamant at half-time that it was a penalty,” Neil added.
“I think the magnitude of the game the referee had to be 100% spot on to give it.”
Neil hopes Tim Klose’s knee injury does not lead to a lengthy absence.
“We’ll be really hopeful it’s not going to be too bad,” the Scot added.