Simon Grayson felt his Preston North End side made life too easy for Newcastle United as the Magpies were promoted to the Premier League with a 4-1 win.
The Lilywhites were well in the game when Jordan Hugill cancelled out Ayoze Perez’s opener on the quarter hour.
But Christian Atsu’s goal on the stroke of half-time after PNE gave the ball away carelessly proved key.
The game’s second crucial moment came on 64 minutes with Paul Gallagher sent off for deliberate handball on the line.
Matt Ritchie converted the spot kick and Perez added a fourth shortly after as North End slumped to a fourth straight defeat.
“We knew that we had to be hard to beat and then as the game went on it could have got a little bit more nervous for them," said Grayson.
“But we gave them a big opportunity in the first five minutes to get their noses in front.
"After that we got the goal and Daniel Johnson had already had a good chance to equalise before that.
“I thought we controlled the game right until a minute before half-time when we’ve shot ourselves in the foot.
“Then with the third one you’re down to 10 men.
“Newcastle didn’t have to work hard enough to win that game tonight.
“We’ve gifted them a lot of goals which has been the story of our last few games.”