Eddie Howe has admitted Newcastle have to start hauling themselves out of the hole they are in after seeing a first Premier League win of the season wrenched from their grasp.
The Magpies looked to be about to break their duck against Norwich courtesy of Callum Wilson’s 61st-minute penalty at St James’ Park despite playing all but nine minutes of the game with 10 men following Ciaran Clark’s early dismissal.
However, Teemu Pukki levelled with 11 minutes remaining to extend their winless start to the campaign to 14 games and leave them rooted to the foot of the table with just six points.
Ciaran Clark was sent off inside the opening 10 minutes (Mike Egerton/PA)
Howe acknowledged the need to start the points total ticking over in earnest, saying: “Yes, we do, that’s very clear to us.
“We know we need wins, draws aren’t going to be enough. But all you can do in every game is give your all and I think you saw the players gave that tonight.
“I couldn’t ask any more of anyone, and those players are committed to the task ahead, so I have to be very proud and pleased with them tonight and know those are the levels we need in every game, regardless of how many players we have.
“If we do with the quality we have, we will win matches.”
Callum Wilson celebrates scoring from the spot (Mike Egerton/PA)
Clark’s sending-off for pulling back Pukki as he attempted to atone for a misplaced clearance left the Magpies with a mountain to climb, but they battled manfully and forced their way in front after referee Andy Madley was advised to review a claim for handball against Billy Gilmour and belatedly pointed to the spot.
Canaries boss Dean Smith said: “At the time, I had no idea. I’ve seen it back – it hit his arm, yes, and I think the referee knows it has hit his arm as well and he’s decided to give a corner because of the proximity of how close it was.
“I’m told there’s a law saying that if your arm is above your shoulder, then it should be a penalty, but the fact it takes 90 seconds to make a decision in the studio, then surely that’s not a clear and obvious error.
“I’m just disappointed that at the moment, I don’t feel enough on-field referees are given enough responsibility when making big decisions.”
Former Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul got a hand to Wilson’s spot-kick but could not keep it out of his net, although the Magpies had to make do with a point after Pukki blasted home a 79th-minute volley.
Howe said: “Obviously, we’re hugely disappointed we didn’t get over the line and win the game, but I think we saw really positive signs in terms of defensive resilience and collective spirit and we’re going to need that.”
Smith, however, was disappointed the visitors had not taken full advantage of their numerical advantage despite extending their unbeaten run to four games.
He said: “I’m frustrated and very disappointed. It was probably the worst out of the three performances that we’ve had.
“We didn’t do enough to win the game because we didn’t show enough quality in the final third, in all honesty.”