By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Alan Pardew was delighted with the "top drawer" performance of his Newcastle United side as they picked up a 4-2 pre-season friendly win at Motherwell on Tuesday night.
The Magpies were largely excellent in their first warm-up game of the summer, as they eased past last term's Scottish Premier League runners-up.
Haris Vuckic, Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko and Sylvain Marveaux were all on target for a rampant United outfit, and after a disappointing 2012/13 campaign, Pardew believes it was just what the doctor ordered - for fans and players alike.
"You want to win games but it's about performance level," the manager told nufc.co.uk following the final whistle.
"The performance level was the problem last year, and if you get that right then the results will follow.
"That performance level was top drawer. With no disrespect to Motherwell, we made them look ordinary at times and could have scored even more than we did."
The majority of United's squad have now been back in training for around a fortnight, as they build up to the start of the new Barclays Premier League season in just over a month's time.
And Pardew was pleased to see hard work at their Benton headquarters already paying dividends.
"At the back end of last year I warned the players that pre-season would be the toughest of my time here, for sure, and one of the toughest I've ever done," he explained
"And that was reflected tonight. That was our best conditioned team and we looked really sharp. The quality was also there and we needed to get a win because we want to get back in that winning habit.
"It was a great night with some fantastic performances and we played a little bit more relaxed."