Steve McClaren hailed Newcastle United’s spirit as they bounced back from midweek disappointment against Everton to beat West Brom.
Aleksandar Mitrovic’s first-half strike was the difference between the two sides at St James’ Park as Newcastle – beaten 3-0 by the Toffees on Wednesday – dragged themselves out of the Premier League relegation zone.
Their margin of victory could have been even greater had Georginio Wijnaldum, Andros Townsend and Moussa Sissoko converted promising chances, but McClaren was just glad to get the three points.
“It was imperative we won the game, we asked for a reaction and the reaction was perfect,” he said. “It shouldn’t have been close at the end, we had so many chances to make in those last 10 minutes.
“We also kept a clean sheet and there was some great attacking play and a great reaction. We had real width, energy and pace to our game, we got a lot of balls into the box that West Brom defended well.
“We created some good chances and if we continue to create chances like that we’ll be okay.”
Newcastle’s only goal of the game came two minutes after Cheick Tiote had seen a long-range screamer ruled out by Lee Mason for offside, the official deeming Mitrovic to have been in the line of Ben Foster’s sight when Tiote drove for goal.
McClaren was unequivocal in his view of the incident, adding: “I can’t believe he’s disallowed it. It’s a goal, he [Mitrovic] is not interfering. I can’t understand it.”