A dejected Steve Bruce looked full of frustration as the full-time whistle blew at St James' Park against Wolves. Despite a positive attacking performance, his side remain just three points ahead of a new-look Fulham side in 18th.
Newcastle deserved all three points
The consensus when the full-time whistle blew was that Newcastle dropped two points against Wolves, rather than gaining one.
They were atypically positive going forward, managing to register 19 shots on goal. More than one of these chances should have resulted in more than just the goal Jamaal Lascelles was able to score. Miguel Almiron was unlucky to see an effort bounce off the post, and Allan Saint-Maximin had a goal ruled out for offside.
The equaliser perfectly explained all that is wrong with Newcastle currently. There seemed to be confusion as to what the system was actually supposed to be as Ruben Neves found himself unmarked in the box, and Martin Dúbravka really could have done better with the Portuguese international's effort.
Dúbravka vs Darlow: The debate rages on
Dúbravka made his long-awaited return against Wolves after Steve Bruce made the difficult decision to drop Karl Darlow.
Darlow had been excellent in the Slovakian's absence but as pressure started to build, mistakes began to creep into the game of the 30-year-old.
Dúbravka made his first appearance of the Premier League campaign and despite a bright start, he was arguably directly at fault for the Wolves equaliser.
He was able to get a full hand on Ruben Neves' power header but was unable to keep the ball from nestling into the bottom corner, which led to an inquest amongst Newcastle supporters.
Many questioned the decision to drop Darlow, as they felt as though he would have saved the header in his current form.
Despite the mistake, Dúbravka will remain as Newcastle's number one and he may be forgiven for lacking sharpness after months away from the game.
He was able to redeem himself by denying Fabio Silva in the closing stages of the game with a phenomenal reactionary save, but many were unimpressed by his performance as a whole.
Newcastle's brightest attacking stars sidelined
Bruce's misery was compiled by the fact that he saw two of his most effective attacking outlets depart the game through injury.
Top scorer Callum Wilson may well be joined for his period on the sidelines by Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin, who both gingerly exited the game due to injury.
Bruce told Sky Sports that he 'feared the worst' for Almiron, who is believed to have suffered a knee injury. As for Saint-Maximin, the Frenchman is having a groin scan today to determine the seriousness of his injury.
There is no debate that Almiron, Saint-Maximin and Wilson are Newcastle's most important offensive players. Combined, they have scored 59% of all of Newcastle's goals this term.
IF all three players are ruled out for an extensive period of time, Newcastle's ability to score goals will be seriously affected in their quest for Premier League survival.