Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren felt his team enjoyed some overdue fortune in the 1-0 Premier League victory at AFC Bournemouth.
The visitors were on the defensive for the vast majority of the match at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, although Ayoze Perez managed to squeeze their only shot of the first half beyond Adam Federici in the Bournemouth goal.
Federici’s opposite number Rob Elliot enjoyed an inspired afternoon at the other end and McClaren accepted that dogged defending came to the fore as the creative aspects of Newcastle’s game almost completely failed to fire.
“Sometimes football just cannot be explained,” McClaren told BT Sport.
“We’ve played so well recently – great performances, great football and haven’t got the results.
“Today we couldn’t play football. It [the ball] was like a hot potato.
“One bit of quality, great football, to get the goal – a little bit more of that and we’d have been comfortable but we caused our own problem today.
“Credit to Bournemouth they kept coming and coming, playing with intensity and creating chances.
“We worked hard for our luck. We’ve not had it in recent weeks; we’ve had it today. We’ll take it.”
Elliot played a starring role after fears he would miss the game due to a thigh injury but McClaren was left to praise the goalkeeper for an effective rearguard action.
“We were worried after last week’s game but he’s trained. He was magnificent and that’s what you need,” the former England boss added.
“Sometimes you have to dig in and sometimes you have defining moments. They are usually blocks, headers or saves.
“We had two great saves from Robbie today that kept us in the game and got us the win.”