Steve Bruce delighted with Newcastle debutants in deserved win at West Ham
Steve Bruce’s new Newcastle recruits were an instant hit after Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick combined to sink West Ham 2-0.
Wilson kept up his hot streak against the Hammers with his eighth goal in nine appearances and Hendrick also popped up with a late debut strike.
“It’s very pleasing of course, that’s why we’ve invested in the players,” said Toon boss Bruce.
“All week has been positive. I’m particularly pleased for Jeff and for Callum to get off the mark, and the young full-back Jamal Lewis had a good debut too.
“I’m delighted with the attitude against a big strong West Ham team, and I thought the better football came from us.”
West Ham clipped the crossbar twice in the first half through Angelo Ogbonna and Pablo Fornals.
But it was Newcastle who made the breakthrough just before the hour when Wilson tucked in Hendrick’s flick-on.
Hendrick wrapped up a deserved victory three minutes from the end when he found the top corner from 15 yards.
Bruce also sprung a surprise by picking Andy Carroll, who was his usual wrecking-ball presence against his old club, especially when he caught Tomas Soucek with an elbow after just 20 seconds.
“Andy needs a big pat on the back, the way physically he came back, he’s lost 5kg and worked tirelessly on his fitness,” added Bruce.
“He looked back to somewhere where Andy Carroll can be, he deserved his chance and I’m pleased he took it.”
It was another miserable start to a season for West Ham who have now lost their last five opening-day matches – a Premier League record.
And with a horrendous run of fixtures to come they could already be in serious trouble by the end of October.
Boss David Moyes felt Wilson’s goal could have been disallowed for a high foot.
“I thought it was dangerous play,” he said. “The game didn’t feel like it was officiated particularly well, but that’s not why we lost.
“I hadn’t see that coming at all, even from when I took over in December. I expected much better.”
The Hammers were in a mild state of disarray even before a ball was kicked this season, having angered fans and players – notably captain Mark Noble – with the controversial sale of Grady Diangana to West Brom.
That, and the lack of incoming transfers, has seen the club’s board come under fire again and, even though supporters are still not allowed in, a handful gathered outside the stadium to protest.
However, Moyes insisted the off-field unrest had no bearing on the performance.
“When you go over the line it’s down to your own concentration,” he added. “The dressing room has been very good with a good spirit among the players.”