Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe admits they invited Watford’s late equaliser for Saturday’s 1-1 draw.
João Pedro’s late header brought Watford back on level terms in a competitive afternoon in the North East, after Allan Saint-Maximin opened the scoring in the second half.
Newcastle have now dropped 21 points from winning positions this season but managed just one shot on target against the Hornets.
Howe said: “Hugely disappointing because we were so close.
“I thought we dominated the first half.
“The start of the second half we got the goal and then were probably content, not intentionally, of seeing the game out and we were close.
“I think the players were so desperate to win that they went into a little bit of protection mode and didn’t want to take too many risks.
“That brings the opposition into the game and Watford had their best period.
“We were within touching distance of a really important win which we obviously didn’t get.”
When asked where the areas for improvement were, Howe said: “There’s a few things.
“We need the second goal and need to keep believing it’s not over to get more goals.
“We need to manage the game better in the last phase. I think we invited it on ourselves.”
And reflecting on Chris Wood’s debut, Howe added: “Chris Wood did well.
“He competed and gave us a different dynamic.
“I thought he was a little bit isolated towards the end of the game so we need to look at that.
“We can’t be satisfied but that’s what we have got.
“We need to get ready for another massive game next week.
“We saw it is a big opportunity before the game.
“Conceding goals late and dropping points has been a common theme this season so it’s definitely something we need to work on.”