Steve Bruce has heaped praise on Dwight Gayle after he came off the bench to score the winning goal against West Brom on Saturday.
The Magpies were in front after just 20 seconds at St James’ Park. West Brom kicked the game off, but Newcastle soon won the ball back and broke up the other end of the pitch.
Miguel Almiron rounded off a fine move to give Bruce’s side a dream start. They were well in control of the first half and they could have been two or three goals ahead.
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Soon after the break, Newcastle were made to rue their missed chances. Darnell Furlong equalised with a fierce first-time shot that flew into the goal past Karl Darlow.
The game looked to be heading for a draw until all of that changed with less than ten minutes to go. Jacob Murphy delivered a sublime ball into Dwight Gayle.
The former Baggies forward evaded his markers to head in past Sam Johnstone to pick up all three points for Newcastle.
Speaking post-match, as cited by Birmingham Live, Bruce praised his staff and players for their hard work leading up to this weekend:
“It’s good to see him fit having worked tirelessly to get him here. He’s had an awful injury that set him back. It was a wonderful ball in from Jacob.
“It was about how we could win the match with what we’ve got. They were in the ascendancy after they scored. They changed and it caught us cold. When we have a striker like Dwight, it’s about getting him onto the pitch. I’m delighted for him, because of all the hard work he’s put in to get fit.
“He was unfortunate at a time before when he nearly got on the end of one, but he has a poacher’s instinct – he’s shown that many, many times.
“I can’t give credit enough to the players and the staff who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes. The decision to shut us down was spot on because it was ripping through everybody.
“If someone had told me last Monday that the game would’ve gone ahead, I’d have said that was unlikely.”