By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Cheick Tiote was delighted to be back in a Newcastle United shirt on Wednesday night, and hailed his young teammates as the Magpies saw off Sheffield Wednesday.
Summer signing Ayoze Perez netted the only goal of the game midway through the second half at Hillsborough, as manager Alan Pardew sent out a young side, given his squad's return from New Zealand only 48 hours before.
The exceptions to that rule were goalkeeper Rob Elliot, winger Gabriel Obertan and Tiote, with the 28-year-old midfielder turning out for the first time in pre-season following his involvement in Ivory Coast's World Cup campaign.
And Tiote, who skippered United on the night, was full of praise for the efforts of those around him in securing victory in Sheffield.
"It was a good result because we played well with a lot of good, young players in the team.
"Sheffield Wednesday put some pressure on us but the young players were magnificent. They were strong and confident and gave us the chance to score the goal.
"The manager put his faith in the young players and they did not let him down. That is three wins in a row and three clean sheets, and that is very important for the confidence of the team.
"It was good for me to be back for my first game since the World Cup. I needed to play but I also need more games before I am fit for the start of the season.
"I am tired but I have to be strong in my head. The season starts soon and I want to be part of the team on the first day against Manchester City."