Gary Rowett admits Newcastle United taught Birmingham City a "footballing lesson".
Rowett's side were beaten 4-0 at St James's Park yesterday to return to the top of the Championship.
Dwight Gayle scored a hat-trick and Yoan Gouffran also found the net.
Birmingham manager Rowett, impressed by the ability and athleticism of Newcastle, felt his team were out-played – and out-run – at the sold-out stadium.
"Newcastle will give a few teams, not just a footballing lesson, a running lesson as well," said Rowett.
"Every time there was space, they sprinted into it. Every time there was an opportunity, they sprinted forward.
"We played with too many players at the same pace, and didn’t step up that extra little bit that you need.
"I’ve got to be mindful that we’ve been out played and out ran against, I think, the best team that’s been in the Championship for some time.
"As we know, unless we’re at our best, unless we’re at our strongest, we certainly can’t live with a team like Newcastle."