Jamaal Lascelles has given yet another rousing interview in his role as Newcastle Captain.
The 22 year old defender of course first came to prominence last season when with Newcastle meekly sliding into the Championship, he stood up in the dressing room and told the rest of the squad some home truths.
Jamaal Lascelles then repeated what he’d said to the press and this set him on the road to getting the armband this season.
As usual Fabricio Coloccini was missing when leadership was needed, as were so many of the other experienced players.
Rafa’s arrival saw Lascelles and the even younger Chancel Mbemba paired together as United put together that late six match unbeaten run that almost saved United from relegation.
In this latest interview the United Captain says that Rafa Benitez was totally correct to drop him for the Reading game and what is more, he was pleased he did it.
Lascelles says that this decision has set a marker for the season where every player knows he has to do his job or he will be dropped, this in stark contrast to recent years where the likes of Coloccini, Sissoko and many others kept the shirt no matter how badly they played, or how disinterested they looked.
Jamaal Lascelles talking to NUFC TV:
‘You were rested for Reading but you must be pleased with the games since?’
“I’m not the one to sulk and think why have I been dropped, I’m just going to get on with it.
“It is a long season and he (Rafa Benitez) has told us all that he is going to rotate, so one player could have an unbelievable game and then be dropped the other. We all respect that and I’m pretty sure nobody will start sulking.
“Everybody knows what the task is and what is needed. We are all going to listen to the manager and get on with it.”
‘You said that you were glad he did it?’
“It is a big thing to say and people probably say ‘What’s he on about’ but it just goes to show that it doesn’t matter if you are the captain, of if you are this player, if you are not doing your job then someone else will get the chance.
“I’m glad he (Rafa) did it because it sets the standard for the rest of the team. If you are not pulling your weight you will be out of the team.
“It was a wake up call for me.”
‘You must be pleased with the way the team is defending?’
“Yes, front back to front.
“With Dwight banging in the goals…we missed him last game – and Mitro, so we have him (Mitrovic), Gayle and Murphy, so that’s a great attacking force.
“So yes, I’m really pleased with the boys in midfield, everybody doing their job. It might take time to totally gel but against Brighton I thought we were really starting to do that.”