Newcastle United boss Chris Hughton bemoans failure to deal with Stoke City's threat from set-pieces following 2-1 defeat

Magpies manager claims side 'didn't do enough' to score second goal...
Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton has admitted his disappointment at conceding two goals from set-plays during the 2-1 defeat to Stoke City and claimed the Magpies "didn't do enough" to score the second goal when the scores were level at 1-1 after half-time.

"We had to deal with their set plays better than what we did, we were able to cope for the majority of the game but two set plays and we’ve been outdone," Hughton told reporters.

"We felt going into the second half we needed to get that goal. We were up against a Stoke side who upped their game, we didn’t do enough to get that second goal.

"We didn’t create enough in the second half, it was a tough encounter but sometimes when you're up against that one you’ve got to deal with the physical strengths they have. We got the ball into good areas [but] we didn’t carve out really good goalscoring opportunities.

"You’re in a position where you are frustrated because you’ve let a lead slip and to get back into the game you have to carve out goals, you’re pushing bodies forward. It wasn’t through a lack of effort but we’ve come up against a resilient Stoke side.

"We know we’ve got to pick up results on the road, we’ve seen how this league is going at the moment, anybody seems to be able to get an unexpected result. You have to be able to get enough points from your away games or it puts difficulty on your home games."

A James Perch own goal with just five minutes remaining handed the points to Stoke at St James' Park and Hughton insists the former Nottingham Forest star is "feeling the worst" of all his team-mates in the dressing room at full-time.

"It's unfortunate for him, something you never like to see. For as bad as everyone feels in that changing room, he will be feeling the worst."

Potters boss Tony Pulis accused Newcastle of simulation after a challenge from Andy Wilkinson although Hughton claims he was surprised by the allegations made by his opposite number.

"You’re up against a very physical side in Stoke, they put themselves about, I didn’t see any play-acting," he added. "If other managers are going to say things I can't legislate for that, that’s their opinions."

"That comes with where we are at the moment, we are a team that’s got promotion from the Championship, we knew it would be a tough season. We’re probably going to lose more games than we win, that’s the unpredictably that comes with it.

"For us it's still a learning curve, we’ve got to make sure on the lows, which is a big low today, that we bounce back."

Regarding loan star Hatem Ben Arfa, the Magpies boss insisted that while the Frenchman has "wonderful ability", the Premier League is still "very much a learning curve for him".

"He’s a new player, he’s adapting to the pace of the game, he’s also adapting to the language, the players," Hughton continued.

"What you’ll see from him is a player with wonderful ability and he’s not different to anybody else. It’s still very much a learning curve for him."

Summer signing Sol Campbell is yet to make a league appearance for the Toon Army but Hughton insists the centre-back should be ready for next weekend's encounter with Manchester City.

"Sol played on Wednesday, managed to get through the game, had a fitness test this morning and we’re hoping he’ll be fit for this weekend," he concluded.

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