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Martin Jol said he couldn't fault the lads as he came to terms with Sunday's 3-2 defeat against Newcastle United.

Martin Jol said he couldn't fault the lads as he came to terms with Sunday's 3-2 defeat against Newcastle United.We dominated from the first whistle and created over 20 chances but were hit first by Paul Huntington's equaliser against the run of play in the first half and then by two goals in as many minutes in the second half after we'd forged ahead again.

Shay Given was outstanding in the Newcastle goal and had already produced two world-class saves before Jermain Defoe opened the scoring in the 13th minute but in just about their first attack, Newcastle levelled when Huntington drove home from a tight angle.

Given continued to stand firm with Defoe, Dimitar Berbatov and Aaron Lennon all denied, Tom Huddlestone's drive flashed inches wide and when Berbatov finally volleyed home for 2-1 after 53 minutes there only looked one winner.

However, Newcastle spectacularly hit back with a Obafemi Martins' special into the top corner after 71 minutes and the same player set up Nicky Butt for what turned out to be the winner two minutes later.

Robbie Keane saw a goalbound effort hit Nolberto Solano on the arm on the line and, with five minutes left, Given was finally left standing when Defoe let fly from 20 yards - only to see his shot cannon back off the post.

"We didn't play badly, there was only one team that deserved to win, but it doesn't always work that way in football," reflected Martin. "In fact, I felt we possibly played our best game this year.

"I thought we outplayed them in the first 20 minutes and up front everyone had chances - Steed Malbranque, Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defoe could have scored three, Dimitar Berbatov could have scored two, even Robbie Keane and Hossam Ghaly could have scored when they came on.

"I can't fault the lads, the only thing is that you have to score.

"We had at least 20 chances so it was about Shay Given as well. It was a combination of things - Shay Given, not converting our possibilities, being unlucky, but it can happen."