Newcastle manager Alan Pardew cut a frustrated figure after his side were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa.
The Magpies required a spectacular 25-yard strike from Hatem Ben Arfa to rescue a point after Ciaran Clark had put the visitors ahead.
"I can't say we deserved to win and you could argue Villa did," said Pardew.
"We were a bit funny, lacked discipline and our set-plays were awful. It was a nightmare from a coaching point of view."
Newcastle began the season well with a victory over Tottenham, but have failed to reach those heights in the subsequent fixtures, losing to Chelsea before Sunday's draw with Villa.
"It wasn't a great day for us on the sideline," added the Newcastle boss. "It was frustrating and we were having to change the shape and formation.
"I don't think the officials helped us. I thought they were poor for us in particular. But fair play to Villa, I take my hat off to them because they worked so hard and can be proud of their performance."
Strikers Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba were not at their predatory best for the Magpies, leaving Ben Arfa to prevent Newcastle slipping to a second consecutive defeat.
Pardew believes the French attacker has been his team's standout performer in the opening weeks of the campaign.
"He's always been a massive talent in France," said Pardew. "His technique sets him apart and he has fantastic power in his shot. He's dangerous and he's a really big player for us.
"Our front two are just a little below their best at the moment. We've tried to rest them and they'll get up to speed."