Newcastle fought back to claim a draw at Brighton in the Premier League as potential new manager Eddie Howe watched on from the stands.
With Howe’s appointment expected soon, he sat alongside Magpies part-owner Amanda Staveley and allowed himself a brief flicker of emotion as Isaac Hayden turned in an equaliser from Ciaran Clark’s downward header.
However, for much of this contest, Newcastle’s display will only have served to warn him of the scale of the challenge at a club that is still yet to win a top-flight game this season.
While the visitors deserve credit for sticking rigidly to their defensive shape, they were disjointed in possession and, bar Hayden’s effort, offered little in attack.
Leandro Trossard’s first-half penalty had appeared to have set Brighton on their way to a deserved victory, with the Belgian getting the benefit of a VAR intervention after tumbling over Clark’s leg.
Despite dominating for long periods, Seagulls boss Graham Potter cut a frustrated figure as his side’s winless run continued into a sixth match and prevented them from leapfrogging Manchester United in fifth.
And a dramatic conclusion almost compounded that feeling with goalkeeper Robert Sanchez sent off in stoppage time for a foul on Callum Wilson with the Newcastle forward through on goal.
With central defender Lewis Dunk taking over in goal it left the hosts having to see out an anxious final few minutes of stoppage time.
Newcastle, who have drawn three of their past four matches on their travels, sit 19th in the table, level on points with bottom club Norwich.