I want to be excited. I really do. Today we saw the exact polar opposite of the product that we put on the pitch against Everton. We still can't finish worth a damn, but everything else was on point. Newcastle United had 73% possession in the first half. It wasn't just a matter of possessing the ball... we moved it with purpose and were genuinely useful with the ball. We saw the West Ham version of Jonjo Shelvey. Moussa Sissoko was interested. Andros Townsend exhibited exactly why he was brought in during the January window. We saw how all the pieces were meant to work together.
The reality is that in spite of the result and a performance that saw far more "good" performances than "disappointing", it is the first step on a journey. We can't afford to feel good with the club sitting in and around the relegation zone this close to the end of the season. For today, however - we can feel good about this one particular match considered in a vacuum. Steve McClaren is always talking about "responding" and for once, we actually did exactly that. West Brom were poor. Counter to Everton's performance on Tuesday, we really contributed to that.
Mitrovic scored a nice goal. Steven Taylor was really quite good and Cheik Tiote continued the renaissance of form that he has enjoyed this season. In fact, Tiote's presence in the lineup seems to allow Shelvey to do Shelvey things, so... on every level (save the poor overall finishing) more of that please!