It was certainly a morale-boosting victory for Steve Bruce’s men in a pre-season campaign that began with a 1-0 defeat at National League North outfit York City.
While pre-season results often count or prove nothing, it does give players the opportunity to build fitness and stake a claim to be in the team come the first league game of the campaign.
And here, we pick out 10 players who have benefitted the most from the Magpies’ pre-season campaign ahead of hosting West Ham United on the opening weekend of the Premier League season:
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1. Freddie Woodman
Bruce confirmed Woodman is in pole position to start against West Ham with Martin Dubravka sidelined and Karl Darlow continuing his recovery from Covid-19. The 24-year-old has needed to be patient as he awaits his Premier League bow. And after missing the opening two pre-season games through self-isolation, and seeing a loan move to Bournemouth fall through - this is surely the perfect outcome.
Photo: Justin Setterfield
2. Jamaal Lascelles
Lascelles missed the remaining eight games of last season after undergoing treatment on a foot injury. Indeed, pre-season has allowed Newcastle’s captain to build up the minutes in his legs to get himself fit and ready for the new campaign.
Photo: Michael Regan
3. Kelland Watts
The young Geordie defender played a full 90 against York in United’s pre-season opener. And while his minutes on the pitch have been reduced since then, Watts has gained valuable first-team experience - and held his own too. The next step is to discover whether Watts will remain part of Bruce’s squad this season or be loaned out again. That, presumably, is subject to defensive reinforcements possibly arriving.
Photo: Stu Forster
4. Jamal Lewis
Lewis has spoken about wanting to play a big part in United's success this season and there is no reason to doubt him. He's still young at 23, both Covid-19 and a groin injury contributed to a difficult opening season on Tyneside. All in all, it was a big learning curve, which he can only grow from.
Photo: Michael Regan