Newcastle 6-2 Norwich: Steve McClaren is left bemused after Magpies hit six
Steve McClaren admitted he was struggling to make sense of his first Barclays Premier League victory as Newcastle's head coach after seeing them trounce Norwich 6-2.
The Magpies, who had gone eight league games without a win since the start of the campaign, finally closed out a roller-coaster of a game at St James' Park as £14.5million summer signing Georginio Wijnaldum plundered four goals.
McClaren said: "It's Newcastle, is it possible to make any sense? That's what we are fast discovering. But I think that was just reward.
"Like we have said all along not to get too down and after tonight, we are not going to get high. There's a lot of work to do, but it shows today when it comes together what we are capable of doing."
A victory which lifted Newcastle to the relatively heady heights of 18th place in the table, came as a huge relief to McClaren and his players seven days before their derby trip to fellow strugglers Sunderland, and provided the club's famous 88-year-old tea lady, Kath Cassidy, with the perfect send-off after 52 years' service.
But it came in nerve shredding fashion as Wijnaldum struck twice and Ayoze Perez once before the break only to see Dieumerci Mbokani and then Nathan Redmond keep the Canaries within touching distance.
However, with the visitors pushing for an equaliser, the home side prospered on the break with Aleksandar Mitrovic extending their lead before Wijnaldum helped himself to two more.
For Norwich boss Alex Neil, it proved a frustrating trip to the north-east.
He said: "Offensively, we looked dangerous, scored two really good goals, hit the post twice, had other good opportunities to score; but defensively as a team...
"I thought both teams were really, really open and we could have score four, five or six ourselves. For them to score six based on the game itself, you could argue it was harsh, but we have got to defend better."
Newcastle: Elliot, Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett (Haidara, 65 mins), Sissoko, Tiote (Anita, 46 mins),Colback, Wijnaldum, Perez , Mitrovic (Cisse, 88 mins). Unused subs: De Jong,Lascelles,Thauvin,Woodman.
Goals: Wijnaldum 14, 26, 66, 85 Perez 33, Mitrovic 64.
Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker, Martin, Bassong, Olsson (Jerome, 84 mins), Dorrans (O'Neil, 84 mins), Tettey (Hoolahan, 62 mins), Redmond, Howson, Brady, Mbokani. Unused subs: Wisdom, Rudd, Jarvis, Bennett.
Goals: Mbokani 20,Redmond 34.
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).