Steve McClaren felt his Newcastle United side stood up to ‘cocky’ Mexican outfit Club Atlas.
The Magpies slipped to a 2-1 defeat in Milwaukee in their first pre-season game of their USA tour.
United lacked agression in the first half, but they were more aggressive after the break without stepping over the line in the face of some niggly challenges.
Club Atlas took a 2-0 lead, but Moussa Sissoko scored just before the break.
And Newcastle went on to dominate the second half, though they couldn’t get an equaliser.
McClaren said: “It’s a passionate game. I was delighted with the reaction and how we came out second half. We put our foot in.
“I think we got the goal because they were looking a little bit cocky.
“The boys got annoyed and stay annoyed. That helped us get back in the game.”