Steve Bruce admits that Newcastle gave themselves a “mountain to climb” in their loss to Brighton on Sunday afternoon.
Newcastle gave away two early goals, both scored by Neal Maupay, before Aaron Connolly completed the 3-0 win late on.
It cancels out Newcastle’s positive start to the season, which began with a 2-0 win at West Ham last week.
Their first home game of the Premier League season was much tougher, though, and Bruce admits they caused their own problems.
“It was a really difficult afternoon for us,” he told BBC Sport. “We gave ourselves a mountain to climb.
“We’ve gifted them the first two goals. When you start like that it’ll be a difficult afternoon.
“We changed formation at half-time and it helped us slightly but we couldn’t recover from an awful 10 minutes.”
Bruce reacts to Bissouma red card
Their opponents ended the game with 10 men, after Yves Bissouma was sent off towards the end for a clash with Jamal Lewis.
Bruce thought it was a “stupid” challenge, giving an update on Lewis’ condition.
He said: “I don’t know what the lad is doing. He was showboating before that and it’s a nasty cut [to Jamal Lewis].
“But it’s not the cut we’re worried about. He’s got an aberration on his eye we think. By the letter of the law it’s pretty obviously dangerous, I don’t know why he’s doing it when he’s left a mess like that. I don’t think he intended it but it’s stupid.”
With Newcastle failing to convert their opening day win into some form of momentum, Bruce admitted that they need to improve to become more consistent.
“Since I’ve been here it’s like this,” he explained. “We do OK for a while then we throw a hand grenade in.
“We’ve got to be better than we were today.”