New Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has already made a "massive difference", midfielder Jonjo Shelvey said after the Magpies beat West Ham in the Premier League Asia Trophy in Shanghai.
Bruce was not on the touchline because of a visa issue, but watched his new club for the first time as Yoshinori Muto's winner gave them victory.
Bruce was appointed Magpies manager on Wednesday, succeeding Rafael Benitez.
"He is a lot different to Rafa," Shelvey told Sky Sports.
"With Rafa, you never knew what he was thinking. Personally, I would rather have someone who talks to you and you know what they are thinking."
Bruce's appointment has been unpopular with some Newcastle fans but, after taking training this week, he saw his side produce a much-improved showing from their 4-0 defeat by Wolves in their opening game of the tournament on Wednesday.
The Magpies changed to a 3-5-2 formation and should have taken the lead through 19-year-old striker Elias Sorensen before Muto converted Jamie Sterry's cross for the first-half goal.
"Steve has come in and changed the formation, and after two days we looked a lot more comfortable," Shelvey added. "I think we thoroughly deserved to win.
"When a new manager comes in training goes up a couple of notches and everyone is busy and looking to impress.
"He has made a massive difference. He is constantly talking to you and that is what you want."
The win means Newcastle finish third in the Premier League Asia Trophy. Wolves won the competition by beating Manchester City on penalties in the final later on Saturday.