By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Vurnon Anita believes Newcastle United should be proud of their response to a heavy opening-day defeat as they recorded a goalless draw with West Ham on Saturday.
Having been on the wrong end of a 4-0 scorline at Manchester City on Monday night and second best throughout, the Magpies were a different proposition altogether five days later at St. James' Park.
Although they failed to make the crucial breakthrough in the final third, United passed the ball with confidence, looked threatening going forward and were solid defensively.
And former Ajax man Anita, who caught the eye in the middle of the park with a tidy personal display, was encouraged by what he and his teammates produced, confident they will continue to improve over the coming weeks.
"I think it was a good reaction," he told nufc.co.uk following the final whistle.
"We played different football, we played much better with much more confidence and we created some chances.
"Unfortunately we drew but we did it well and we reacted well to the Manchester City game.
"We know what we can do, what we are capable of, and this was our first home game.
"We had nearly 50,000 fans behind us and it was up to us to show them a nice performance. We did not win but hopefully they are happy with the way we played.
"There are lots of positives to take from this. We must keep playing good football with confidence and if we do that then the goals will come."
United's starting line-up showed four changes from their last Premier League outing and, in the absence of Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye and Jonas Gutierrez, Dutch international Anita was given the nod by manager Alan Pardew.
He formed an effective central partnership with Moussa Sissoko and hopes their combination can flourish.
"It is always nice for a player to start a game," explained Anita.
"I just wanted to show everybody what I can do and it is up to all the people and the manager to decide whether or not I did that.
"I hope myself and Moussa get more chances together, but it is up to the coach to decide.
"We play well together and Moussa is a fantastic player so I would like it if we played more together throughout the season."