Alan Pardew has admitted that a slow start combined with poor defending cost his side dearly against Manchester United.
Pardew said that his team must improve in the opening stages of matches but also praised his players for their response to going behind.
He told Sky Sports News: "At the start United were fast out of the blocks and I don't think we saw the ball in that period, the first eight minutes or whatever it was.
"We've conceded two from set-pieces and you can't give a team like Manchester United a two-goal lead. That's something we're going to have to cover and make sure we're better at next time.
"After that though, I have to say, I was proud of our team. We stuck at it, took the game to United, made a few chances.
"For the last 20 minutes of the first half I thought we were terrific. I thought we perhaps deserved a goal."
Pardew's side have time to reflect during the international break before travelling to the Stadium of Light to play Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby on Sunday, October 21.