Caretaker manager Chris Hughton refused to blame Newcastle United's continuing off-field troubles for Saturday's 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Hull City.
Hughton, who was installed after Kevin Keegan resigned earlier in the month citing a lack of control over the club's transfer plans, saw his side fall two goals behind to the Premier League new boys at St James' Park before debutant Xisco's late strike gave the home fans a glimmer of hope.
But despite the game being overshadowed by supporter unrest aimed at unpopular owner Mike Ashley and director of football Dennis Wise, Hughton refused to make excuses for the defeat.
Thousands of fans demonstrated before kick-off, while the ill-tempered protests continued inside the stadium during the game.
"The easy thing would be for me to say yes, the events of the last few weeks had a bearing on the result," he said.
"Probably more to the point was we certainly have got a few injuries in vital positions, we had a few players coming back late from international duty, which is the norm that everybody has to accept and put up with.
"But the preparation with what we have got has been good. I can't fault the attitude and the professionalism of the players. That I can't fault.
"We had a starting line-up of 11 players that was good enough in my mind to certainly win the game today, but it wasn't to be."
Meanwhile, Hughton admitted he has no idea whether the club are any closer to resolving the managerial situation.
"At this particular moment my thoughts are on Monday, to try to pick up this group of lads, to recover and prepare them for the next game," he added.
"Whether that will be me or somebody else, at this moment, I don't know.
"Anything that is thought about or done upstairs is something that is completely out of my hands and out of the players' hands.
"Of course, it will happen at some stage - when that will be, at this particular moment, I don't know."