By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Last week saw Alan Pardew sign no less than four players and this week has started with a vital victory at Aston Villa. No wonder the Newcastle manager looked back on a "great few days" after watching his side win away from home for the first time this season.
The United boss gave Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran their debuts from the start at Villa Park on Tuesday night before introducing Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in the closing stages and all three had big roles to play as the Magpies secured the three points.
Sissoko supplied the ammunition for Papiss Cisse's clincially-taken opener at the Holte End and Yanga-Mbiwa made a fantastic late challenge to deny what seemed a certain goal so their impact was instant.
Meanwhile, captain Fabricio Coloccini outlined his commitment to the club in the build-up to the game and responded with a typically classy display at the heart of defence alongside Steven Taylor, making his first appearance since November.
And, speaking to nufcTV, Pardew beamed: "I think it's just been a great few days for us. Derek Llambias and Lee Charnley did well to get the players over the line in time for this game and we played with a fluency in the first half that we've not seen for a long while from this team.
"We caused Aston Villa all sorts of problems, controlled the game - and then we conceded perhaps a silly goal just after half-time and we had to show another side - the fight and the grind and the battle that you need in the Premier League at times.
"No wins come easy in this division and we stood up to that. It was a combination of our senior players, our new players and some players that have had to show real application to get this win."
In particular, Pardew was impressed by Sissoko as the former Toulouse midfielder dominated proceedings in the first half and showed enough to suggest that he could help bring the best out of Cisse.
"Everything that I thought he might do for this team, he delivered in the first half," the manager said. "He ran out of steam in the second half - those French players now know the difference between Ligue 1 and the Premier League.
"We had to take them all off because the energy was just phenomenal that Aston Villa were showing. Fair play to them, they gave us a real run for our money tonight.
"But we stood firm and Sissoko is a class act, trust me."