"It baffles me" - Eddie Howe explains where it all went wrong at Palace and how he intends to fix it

Eddie Howe says that his side's performance in the final third left him "baffled" as Crystal Palace coasted to a 2-0 win.

The Newcastle United head coach was expecting a much better offering from his team on the back of a 10-day break and coming into this one after beating Tottenham Hotspur 4-0. But Newcastle's performance faltered from the opening moments of the game as Harvey Barnes wasted a chance and then Palace created 20 opportunities overall.

Howe said in his post-game press conference: "We were very disappointed with the performance, from the high of Tottenham to the low of tonight. We were disappointing in most aspects of our play.

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"We have to take responsibility for that. Maybe the gap between games didn't help us on reflection but still we knew that gap was there and we had to perform better than we did today. It is a missed opportunity for us."

Newcastle took until the 86th minute to produce their first shot on target when Elliot Anderson's tame header warmed the gloves of Dean Henderson. But by then the game had slipped away from them after Jean-Philippe Mateta's double.

Howe said: "The first couple of minutes it looked like we were in a good place. The first half then unravelled into an uncomfortable feeling where we were not firing on all cylinders.

"We were not playing with brilliant rhythm, we got in at half-time at 0-0 and we were relieved to do that. I anticipated a much better second half. We probably were better in the second period up to 60 minutes but the two goals we conceded summed up our performance really."

Howe added: "I agree with that (frustrating to have 10 days to brush up). We worked through the gap to not have an adverse affect on our performance, we take responsibility for that, it's not an excuse."

Howe will now look to improve Newcastle's cutting edge and they have the perfect chance to get a morale boosting win over rock bottom Sheff United. Talking about what he will do to improve things, Howe said: "Maybe that (10 day) gap did hamper our rhythm. We looked rusty in lost of aspects of our game, Palace played well, and we have to give them credit."

"Usually we are better technically than that and that was the one area of our game that disappointed me. We gave the ball away and seemed reluctant to shoot around their goal, which baffles me. Within half a yard we did not pull the trigger. I don't think any of our game was really in a good place."