After five games without a victory, Ange Postecoglou was delighted to see his Tottenham side return to winning ways in the Premier League.
Spurs have been battered by injuries and suspensions since getting the better of Crystal Palace on October 27, when Postecoglou's side were unbeaten and sitting top of the table.
Four defeats - including a 4-1 home loss to bitter rivals Chelsea - and a draw followed that success at Palace, but Tottenham bounced back on Sunday with a 4-1 hammering of Newcastle to lift their manager's spirits.
"We're trying to build something here and part of that is through the tough periods to not allow the lads too much latitude in terms of excuses," Postecoglou said.
"But the reality is, and I have probably been too hard on them in retrospect, we got decimated (by player unavailability) after the Chelsea game.
"And it is no coincidence that now we are getting some players back we are starting to look a lot stronger.
"In this league if you have one or two key players out, you're going to struggle."
"I just felt we had more energy and legs and we needed it today."
Postecoglou paid particular tribute to forward Richarlison after the Brazilian's two goals helped down Newcastle.
Richarlison's double came after Destiny Udogie broke the deadlock in the 26th minute. Son Heung-min, who was shifted back to left wing, grabbed the fourth after claiming two assists.
But the night belonged to the fit-again Richarlison, who has struggled since his $115 million move from Everton last year and recently had groin surgery to correct a long-standing issue.
His absence helped tip Tottenham's list of absentees into double figures.
"Richy was great, really important," Postecoglou said.
"Him and Pape (Sarr) coming in gave us some real energy. We were going to need it today with the midweek fixture (a 2-1 loss to West Ham) and they did that.
"For Richy, getting a couple of goals as a striker that was positive for him.
"(He) was important to us at the start of the year too, but he wasn't fully fit. You could tell he was kind of restricted with his movements.
"At times we had to play him out wide just to get him through games. Since he's come back, it's fair to say he feels a lot better physically and that's helped him mentally as well.
"Great for him to get two goals today, but it wasn't just his goals, it was his general work-rate, energy and physicality."
- with PA
Australian Associated Press