Steve Bruce says that both penalties awarded in Newcastle United's 2-1 defeat at Watford were "soft" but admitted his players put themselves in an awkward position.
The Magpies now have three games left of their campaign and are in danger of ending it in damp squib fashion.
More significantly for United's squad they are also in danger of failing to better their points tally from last season - something they will be able to look at as an achievement if they pull it off.
After the game a disappointed Bruce said: “From where I was, the first penalty looked soft and they are the big defining moments in games.
"To lose that game on two penalties, the way they were, you could say we are a bit naïve but they were both really, really soft and when they are given against us, you do scratch your head at times and think what’s the point of the (Video Assistant Referee) technology for?"
Bruce was happy with the first half display, and said: "I thought the first-half performance was very, very good.
"The second-half they're given a huge lifeline.
"I'll let other people make their mind up but they [the penalties] looked remarkably soft to me."