Newcastle boss Alan Pardew bemoaned his side's lack of cutting edge after they were beaten 1-0 at Championship side Brighton in the FA Cup fourth round.
Newcastle, without strikers Demba Ba and Papiss Demba Cisse, could not breach Brighton's net as defender Mike Williamson's own goal settled the tie.
But Pardew will welcome back the pair next week after Senegal's early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.
"We were searching for a little bit of quality to win the game," said Pardew.
Brighton progressed into the fifth round after Will Buckley's 76th minute shot looped off Williamson and over Magpies keeper Tim Krul for the winner.
Newcastle wasted good chances with Leon Best twice firing just off target when well placed.
Pardew added: "They defended well to be fair and we were always liable to a breakaway. They got some massive fortune for the goal and it was their day.
"We had a good grip on the game and we felt comfortable. But we weren't threatening the goal enough to find a way through."
Newcastle could have had a penalty in the closing stages when Brighton's Ashley Barnes appeared to handle the ball.
But Pardew said: "We haven't had one of them all year so we weren't expecting one today.
"I cannot really fault my players too much in terms of the commitment they've shown.
"But our overriding emotion is one of disappointment. On another day we could have got the draw or nicked a win."
Brighton counterpart Gus Poyet hailed the attitude of his players after they shocked a Premier League team sitting in the top six and chasing European qualification.
He said: "We started the game well. We started brave and kept the ball well as we tried to have a go.
"After 15 minutes Newcastle started passing the ball around - it's going to happen against a quality side.
"But we got to half-time and it was a matter of saying 'hang in there and something is going to happen sooner or later for us'. And it did."