Alan Pardew believes that it was a blessing that Cheick Tiote wasn't able to play against Leicester City at the weekend.
Tiote was too tired after a lengthy journey to represent the Ivory Coast on international duty, and was not available to start in the club's match against the Foxes at the weekend.
Before the game there were fears that losing Tiote could be a big loss for the side, but Pardew thinks that it worked in their favour, as his side picked up a 1-0 victory.
"We thought he had a minor problem, but we didn’t even have a chance to work him," he said to the Chronicle.
“He had had such a long trip to the Congo and maybe it was a blessing that he didn’t play because the energy he exerted with 10 men – I notice Yaya Toure didn’t start for Man City – it probably wasn’t a bad thing that he didn’t start.”
The win was the club's first in the league this season and it could hardly have been more important.
Pressure was growing on the team to start picking up points, with the atmosphere around St. James' Park becoming increasingly frustrated, but this three point haul should help relieve some of the scrutiny.
There are still concerns about the current squad, but their first win of the campaign has boosted morale massively and the task will be to kick on after this.
Newcastle's next game comes this weekend against Tottenham Hotspur, in what looks a tough test of their credentials.