Villa fell two goals behind after Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye struck for the Magpies by the half-hour mark but almost snatched a point after Christian Benteke pulled one back early in the second half from the penalty spot.
Lambert feels his side could have gotten something from the match with their improved second-half showing but was happy his players were noticed by the Villa faithful despite the club falling into the relegation zone.
"I have never seen a standing ovation after a game we have been beaten, but it shows you the effort," he said.
"We never played well in the first half, but I couldn't fault the players in the second half. We changed it around. Some people can hide behind tactics, but the game is about players.
"The first goal was really poor. But second half we looked like we could pull it back. The response gives us hope, because it's in our capabilities to go and do that. Credit to them [his Villa players] in the second half. They came out and they were relentless, but it was too little too late."