As Newcastle United enter the final eight match run of this promotion race, Jamaal Lascelles says it is ‘exciting times’ ahead.
However, the Newcastle Captain says that the players are ‘not going to be relying on other teams’, which was the case at the weekend.
If Huddersfield and Brighton had won their matches against Bristol City and Leeds respectively, then Newcastle would be two points off top and Huddersfield four points behind with a game in hand.
It is the pressure end of things though and Jamaal Lascelles feels that the strength of Newcastle’s squad will now come into play.
Grant Hanley a prime example of that, the former Blackburn Captain and Scottish international coming in for the injured Ciaran Clark and helping the team to a clean sheet, as well as what could prove a valuable point.
“I thought we controlled the game from start to finish, defensively we were on the front foot. Most of the game was played in their half but unfortunately we didn’t score a goal.
“He (the referee) has made his decision and we had other chances, not going to fuss over a goal that could have been offside (when Matt Ritchie ‘scored’) or not.
“I thought their keeper was on form today, pulled off some great saves from chances where I thought we’d normally score.
“Darlow was excellent again, soaked up a few crosses. They didn’t have any runners so we were as tight as we could and I thought it helped the team.
“It’s pleasing to see, even if one of our star players or starting eleven gets injured or gets dropped, as a team we are confident with whoever comes in. Grant Hanley come in and did a great job, he’s played a lot of games in the Championship so knows how to get the job done.
“Three points is what we came here for but it didn’t happen. We’re on a positive though and we have two home games coming up, which are the ones we really need to be winning.
“It is exciting times and we are not going to be relying on other teams, we are going to get the job done.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Birmingham 0 Newcastle 0
Possession was Birmingham 35% Newcastle 65%
Total shots were Birmingham 9 Newcastle 17
Shots on target were Birmingham 1 Newcastle 3
Corners were Birmingham 3 Newcastle 5
Referee: Simon Hooper
Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Hanley, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Colback, Gouffran (Atsu 82), Perez (Shelvey 78), Murphy (Gayle 63)
Elliot, Gamez, Mbemba, Mitrovic
Crowd: 19,796 (Newcastle 3,300)
(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to today’s game go HERE)
(To read what Rafa Benitez had to say post-match go HERE)
(To view the NUFC player ratings and add your own to our interactive system go HERE)