Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez was full of praise for defender Grant Hanley, who returned to the side in place of the injured Ciaran Clark for the game against Birmingham.
The defender kept a clean sheet in the goalless draw and didn't look out of place filling in for the highly-rated Clark, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury.
Benitez, in typical Rafa fashion, played down the praise by saying: "Gianfranco is a good friend. It was nice for him to say that, but there is still eight games to go."
Seven points above the play-off places and with eight games to go, promotion straight back up to the Premier League looks quite likely for Benitez's Newcastle, who beat Tottenham 5-1 in their most recent Premier League game.
The Magpies were pretty disappointing during their Premier League campaign and ended up on the wrong end of a few routs themselves. Benitez joined the club fairly late when their fate looked pretty much set, so this time round ought to be quite different.
The Magpies did spend in the summer but were able to bring in large sums of money through the sale of Gini Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko. Keeping their current crop of players is something that the club will have in mind, meaning winning the Championship outright carries extra importance due to the money that it will provide.