Jamaal Lascelles has claimed that Newcastle were the better team on Saturday against Watford.
If there is one thing you can’t fault Steve McClaren and his team about, it is their slavish group commitment to insisting that the only things that are missing from Newcastle United is a change of luck and finishing chances. Time after time players and management claim, against overwhelming contrary evidence, that Newcastle have been the better team.
Yes the team lack a goalscoring striker but the focus always seems to be based on one or two chances that didn’t go in, rather than the reality that the opposition almost always have the better of the game and the chances.
That was the same at Watford, a poor first half by both teams with McClaren’s negative tactics ensuring almost no support for Mitrovic but once Watford scored only seconds into the second period, there was only ever one winner.
Jamaal Lascelles actually did ok on his first start in the Premier League and scored a brilliant header from a corner, something that his team-mates should be looking at and questioning why they can’t do similar.
Unless there are any surprise signings in the last week of the window, it will be interesting to see what McClaren will do with his team selection/formation for Everton, with the likes of Dummett and Colback likely to be available.
Jamaal Lascelles taking to the official club website:
“It was nice to start a Premier League game for the first time but obviously it would have been better if we had won.
“I’m pleased the head coach felt he could put me in there, and I hope I can get a few more games now. It’s nice to know that you are trusted.
“I was fairly pleased with my performance but think I maybe should have done slightly better with the second goal. But it was another great experience for me and hopefully it is the first appearance of many.
“Scoring my first goal for the Club was a great moment, although I didn’t see it go in.
“I got clobbered on the way down and ended up with three stitches in my mouth, so I didn’t know I had scored straight away.
“It was nice but I would have rathered us win or draw and me not score – not much of a consolation to have a goal but still lose the game.”
“The two seasons I played at Nottingham Forest, those type of strikers are the ones I came up against regularly, especially Deeney.
“Him and Ighalo are big, physical and will try and knock you about, but I gave as good as I got and I love a battle like that.
“The whole game was a real battle because Watford are a physical side, but I thought we matched them and even overpowered them in some areas of the pitch,
“But we conceded sloppy goals and had a lot of chances ourselves which we should have scored.
“I thought we were the better team and the only difference was they were clinical with their chances and we weren’t.”