The Magpies were one of the form teams in the Premier League until their unbeaten run ended at Manchester City in November, and have been struck with a defensive injury crisis
Striker Demba Ba scored two goals but the Magpies conceded four times as a makeshift defence struggling to cope with the physicality of the Canaries’ attack, while midfielder Dan Gosling was sent off with 25 minutes remaining.
The Magpies opened the season with an 11-match unbeaten run built on a stable defence with Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor at centre-back, Danny Simpson at right back, and Ryan Taylor at left-back.
However, a lack of reinforcements was highlighted on Saturday as Coloccini’s thigh problem, Mike Williamson’s ankle injury, and Steven Taylor’s long-term absence after rupturing his Achilles tendon left them with none of their three first-choice centre-backs.
“We went down to 10 men and we were still in the game, so it would be very harsh to suggest that the bubble has burst,” Pardew told reporters.
“Every game is a big one for us. We are in a situation where we have got a nice points tally, but we have come into a run against the top teams and lost players to injury. We are just having one of those little injury runs and that is affecting us.”
Top scorer Ba also dismissed any worries over the defeat, adding: “I just enjoy doing my work and enjoy playing football.
“I expect myself to do well, because I always prepare for that. I was prepared for all 38 battles and I’m happy when I see all the work I’m doing is paying off.
“It’s difficult to get in the top four — the teams, they are unbelievable. So if we can make it in the top half we will be happy I think.”
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