Steve Bruce praised Newcastle for not having any excuses as they battled to three points against West Brom.
Newcastle returned to action with a 2-1 win thanks to Miguel Almiron scoring the fastest goal of the Premier League season and Dwight Gayle heading home against his former club.
It was Newcastle’s first game since a Covid-19 outbreak at the club, which had seen their previous match against Aston Villa postponed. A number of first team players had tested positive for the virus.
However, they eventually shook off any lingering fitness issues against West Brom to see out the win.
After the game, Bruce praised the character his squad has shown during a difficult period.
“We tried to play it down and we weren’t looking for any excuses but they’ve stuck together,” he said. “I think we finished with three midfielders in the back four.
“I couldn’t be more pleased. With the problems we’ve had, the work they’ve done at home or parks or whatever – I couldn’t speak highly enough of them.
“Their effort and endeavour was spot on.
“We just have to try to find consistency. We have back to back victories. Let’s not get carried away just yet.”
Bruce praises medical department
Getting back to action – and with a win – was a major team effort from Newcastle. It was not just their playing staff who came in for credit.
The club have not confirmed which players had the virus, but Bruce revealed that it had “knocked Isaac Hayden to hell” before the midfielder returned to cover as a centre-back.
As some of his troops return, Bruce thanked those who have dealt with their health recently.
“I can’t give enough credit to the players and staff – and certainly the medical department,” he said. “The decision to shut us down was absolutely spot on.”