Jamaal Lascelles says that ‘whatever’ Rafa Benitez asks the players to do, they trust him implicitly.
The Newcastle Manager is famous for being a stickler for detail throughout his managerial career and at United it is no different.
His teams tend to be built from very well drilled defences and this season has been no different, with Rafa sending out his teams to keep possession, try and force a goal, then dare the opposition to try and break them down.
Invariably this has led to a second Newcastle goal and often more.
Recent matches though have seen United generally finding it a little more difficult to get through the opposition and that has been both before and during Jonjo Shelvey’s absence.
His return after Saturday will undoubtedly help but great to see Rafa Benitez looking at a different formation and tactics at Birmingham and whilst there were eight changes to the team, it could still pay dividends in the promotion run-i
With Blackburn away on the Monday, Jamaal Lascelles that left them only a few days to work on the 3-5-2 system that Rafa wanted to try out at St Andrew’s.
The Manager said after the game that he was pleased with how it had worked until the speed of the game and a lack of legs in his team (seemingly referring to the midfield trio of Tiote, Anita and Colback) meant they began to struggle.
The Newcastle Captain though, says that he and his teammates trust Rafa Benitez no matter what formation he asks them to play.
Hopefully it isn’t the last we have seen of Yedlin and Lazaar operating as wing-backs and that with better players such as Clark, Shelvey, Hayden, Ritchie and others in the team, the 3-5-2 can prove an effective system both going forward and in defence.
“We set out in a different formation (against Birmingham) that we aren’t used to.
“We’re going to trust Rafa Benitez whatever formation he tells us to play, we only had a few days to work on it.
“We will though have more time this week to work on our strengths and weaknesses.
“We had a lot of players that hadn’t played in a while and I think they have come in and done a great job.
“They got a lot of fitness from the game and now we are looking forward to playing them (Birmingham) at our place.
“We did start off really well but we knew it would be really tough, they are physical and big on second balls – we know how to play against them.”