Steve McClaren hailed Jonjo Shelvey as Newcastle’s difference maker after the 2-1 victory over West Ham.
Making his debut after a £12m move from Swansea City, Shelvey’s pass helped to create the opening goal, as Newcastle made it four points from two home games in four days.
McClaren admitted to concerns about how Shelvey would fit into Newcastle’s side, but beamed as he spoke of the England international’s influence.
“You always worry, the first game,” McClaren said.
“Will he blend in? Will he fit into the team, the balance? It was a perfect balance.
“That first pass forward created the first goal and that cross-field just gives you, because of the speed of it, that extra two seconds that the defence can’t recover.
“That’s the difference between top-quality midfield players and average ones. He’s got the potential to be top. There’s a long way to go, but it’s a nice start.”
Shelvey absolutely outstanding yesterday. Completely transformed the team's dynamic. Improved everyone around him. Quality player.
— Michael Martin (@tfeditor1892) January 17, 2016