Steve Bruce claimed that Newcastle’s win over West Ham was just as impressive as their triumphs over Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.
Newcastle scored more than once in a single game for the first time since Bruce took charge in the summer, racing into a 3-0 lead within 51 minutes courtesy of Ciaran Clark, Federico Fernandez and Jonjo Shelvey, before allowing their opponents two consolation goals.
Fully aware that the reaction to his appointment was mixed, Bruce laughed that he could not be criticised for his decision-making this weekend.
“Jonjo was brought in because of his ability to find a pass and his set pieces. So today, I’m not such a bad manager!
“It would have been easy to keep Matty in because he’s done really well but he’s a West Ham boy, so that played on my mind.
“It should have been 6-0 within an hour. It wouldn’t have been unjust, would it? We had some wonderful opportunities which we didn’t finish and your worry is ‘Will it come back to bite you?’ which it nearly did.
“I think that would have been a bit unjust but overall first half in particular, and some of the second half, the one thing you can level against us is we need to be a bit more clinical.
“We’ve created some chances and had some wonderful opportunities. Today was key to that. Almiron, Saint-Maximin and Joelinton were a threat and they can only get better. I keep saying you need to give them time to adjust, to Newcastle, to the Premier League and what it takes to play in England. But you can see they’re a threat.
“I’ve been here three months and had 11 games but that win is up there. We were fantastic at Tottenham in a different way and were terrific against Manchester United a couple of weeks ago. In terms of the way we played I was delighted to take West Ham on in their own back yard. That was good to see.”