Newcastle manager Graeme Souness claims old defensive failings cost his side after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool.
Titus Bramble's own goal set Liverpool on the path to victory after Patrick Kluivert put Newcastle ahead.
Souness said: "It was the same old things from our part. We concede too many poor goals at this level.
"Their first goal was an own goal, and even though Liverpool will say their third from Milan Baros was quality, defensively it wasn't great again."
Souness added: "It all changed in the minutes after we scored. The own goal was followed by another where they worked the ball through us too easily.
"And when Baros scored, the ball was passed between our two central defenders. How often do you see that at this level?"
Souness was unhappy with Lee Bowyer, who was sent off for two bookable offences, the second of which was a reckless tackle on Florent Sinama-Pongolle.
He said: "That happened right in front of us and I don't think he can have any complaints about that. He has apologised to us and the other players - quite rightly so.
"We will be having words with him about that because he's not helped the cause in any shape or form with that."
Souness expects his side to improve, and is closing in on a £7.5m deal for Rangers' unsettled defender Jean-Alain Boumsong.
He said: "If we can strengthen in the January transfer window we will, but even if we don't, I believe we have enough good players in that dressing room to win more goals."