Howe bemoans below-par Toon after damaging Dortmund defeat
Eddie Howe refused to blame his players despite admitting that they were not at their best in Tuesday's 2-0 Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund.
Back-to-back losses to the German side leaves the Magpies on four points from four games and badly damages their chances of qualification.
And Howe reflected that his side had not performed to their maximum on a disappointing evening.
He said: "We weren't at our best tonight.
"The intensity, the quality of our normal game I thought was missing. We've got to try and win our last two games now.
"It was very similar to Dortmund last month. A frustration on our performance knowing there is more in the tank to give.
"I don't think Dortmund have seen the best Newcastle and that always leaves a feeling of frustration."
It was a night of more injury woe for Howe, who reported that Callum Wilson could be added to a lengthy list of absentees that includes Sven Botman, Dan Burn and Alexander Isak.
He said: "Callum was feeling a tightness in his hamstring so that forced our hand as well so we are really stretched.
"It is too early to say [whether Wilson will return this weekend].
"I think us at our very best even with the number of players we have out is good enough.
"We have to take collective responsibility for that."
Howe returns to former club Bournemouth with his side on Saturday before they host Chelsea after the international break.
They then travel to France for the crucial visit of Paris Saint-Germain.