Steve Bruce has revealed he was smiling with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after Newcastle United's defeat against Manchester United because the Red Devils' boss complimented his opposite number on how well the Magpies played.
Newcastle went into half-time level with Manchester United after Allan Saint-Maximin equalised just six minutes after Marcus Rashford had opened the scoring at Old Trafford.
The Magpies more than held their own in the opening 55 minutes of the game before Daniel James put Manchester United back in front and Bruno Fernandes scored a late penalty.
After the defeat, the cameras captured Bruce smiling with Solskjaer as they walked towards the tunnel and the Newcastle head coach was asked about that ahead of Saturday's huge game against Wolves.
"Listen, I've known Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for 20 years," Bruce told reporters on Zoom. "If I'm caught smiling with him...he was complimenting us on how well we played. That's it.
"If that's a bad thing that I've smiled with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer then, unfortunately, OK. Let it be."
Newcastle are now just three points clear of the relegation zone after 18th-placed Fulham closed the gap and the next four games will go a long way to deciding where these two sides end up.
The Magpies face Wolves, West Brom, Aston Villa and Brighton while Fulham take on Crystal Palace, Spurs, Liverpool and Man City in the coming weeks.
Newcastle have won just two of their last 14 league matches but Bruce stopped short of describing Saturday's clash with Wolves as a must-win game.
"It would be nice to win but I think with 13 games to go, there's a lot," he said. "The tickly bit us upon us, the daffodils are coming up, so that is usually the first sign.
Recent fallout over the long-running takeover saga at Newcastle United hasn't just been the talk of Tyneside - it was the talk of the footballing world.
Now, Steve Bruce must recollect his team and push forward without the change of ownership and new backing.
However, the twists and turns aren't over, with current owner Mike Ashley 'considering all options' after the Premier League rejected the £300m takeover.
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"Look, we've got some big games coming up but, as I keep saying, it's the accumulation of points. It would be great on Saturday night to be sitting on 28 points rather than 25 and that's got to be the aim."
Fulham, who have lost just one of their last seven league games, could leapfrog Newcastle in the table if the Magpies lose against Wolves and Scott Parker's side beat Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday.
However, conversely, if Newcastle can defeat Wolves, the Magpies can start to look up the table again; Brighton are just one point clear of Bruce's side in 16th place while Burnley are currently three points clear of the black-and-whites in 15th.
"As far as I'm concerned, there's six or seven teams." Bruce added. "It's not just us and Fulham in it. Burnley and Brighton are just above us and Southampton had a tough run as well so, for me, there's six or seven teams in and around it which is probably normal.
"We always knew that they've won back-to-back games for the first time. They have won more in a week than they have done in the last six months so that's what you need when you're down there at the bottom.
"It's so difficult. We did it a couple of weeks ago and then had to go to Chelsea and Man U. As I keep saying, it's the accumulation of points, what we have to try and get over the line, and accumulate as many as we can."