Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan promised his side will get better after the Magpies were held by Bolton in his first game since returning to the club.
Keegan was pleased with his side's efforts against Bolton
Newcastle were short of ideas in a drab 0-0 draw but Keegan said: "I told the players not to be disappointed.
"We were missing a lot of players. Take that into consideration and forget the hype and it's actually a good result.
"It will improve from here. Maybe we will get players in - we're a quality squad but we are a small squad."
Keegan felt Newcastle had been affected by playing for an hour with 10 men in their victorious FA Cup victory over Stoke on Wednesday.
"We'll have better days," said the 56-year-old Newcastle manager. "We're short of numbers and we looked tired - there are excuses there if we want them.
The players are lacking confidence because things have not gone their way - they have not won in the league for a while and there have been some big changes at the club
Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan
"We weren't quite good enough to win the game. A draw was a fair result and because of our endeavour we certainly didn't deserve to lose it.
"The stadium was rocking but Bolton set themselves up to spoil the party - they came to stop us and hit us on the break.
"Our team lost 6-0 last week, has got four players away at the Africa Cup of Nations and has got more suspended.
"The team I put out was a very good one but there wasn't much on the bench when I was looking to change things.
"From our point of view, the players gave everything."
But Keegan is confident he can get more of the players already in his squad.
"Will I be patient? Definitely.
"I'll work with them and talk to them. They're lacking confidence because things haven't gone their way - they haven't won in the league for a while and there have been some big changes at the club.
Keegan faces a tough task in his next two matches, both at the Emirates against to Arsenal.
The Magpies play the Gunners in the FA Cup fourth round on 26 January and return for a Premier League match three days later.
"We'll have to perform a lot better against Arsenal," said Keegan. "We know that and we hope we will."