Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew remains convinced his side will soon pick up in the Premier League despite a fourth consecutive league defeat on Wednesday in a 2-1 reverse at Stoke City.
Pardew and Newcastle have so far failed to build on last season's impressive fifth place finish and sit in 14th place, two points above the bottom three.
Home defeats this month by West Ham United and Swansea City have been followed by losses at Southampton and Stoke, who overturned a Papiss Cisse strike with two goals in the last 10 minutes at the Britannia Stadium to leave Pardew cursing his fortunes.
"The improvement from Sunday [2-0 defeat by Southampton] was immense and we deserved something. I thought we were the better side," he told reporters.
"I thought we could have had a penalty at 1-0 but two sucker punches have cost us. It's galling because we're on this run and we're having setback after setback and I feel sorry for the players. That team won't go far short if we play like that."
Eyebrows were raised in September when owner Mike Ashley, aiming for long-term stability, rewarded Pardew with an eight-year contract, tieing him to the north east club until the end of the 2019/20 season.
Newcastle are still searching for an away league win this having drawn four and lost three.
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