Jamaal Lascelles has declared ‘Rafa Benitez is a great manager’.

The Newcastle United captain was interviewed by Alan Shearer last week, with it set to be screened on the Premier League Show, which is broadcast at 10pm tomorrow (Thursday) night.

Lascelles says that the United boss has not just made him a better player but also the art of man-management – how to be ‘a better captain, to be a better leader’.

The Newcastle defender revealed that the day before being interviewed by Shearer, he ended up hardly taking part in training, due to Rafa having him in for a long chat in his office.

Jamaal Lascelles says that the manager uses him to get the message over to the squad and to keep the dressing room positive.

When it comes to the man-management side of things, the NUFC skipper says Rafa Benitez has shown him that he needs to pat some players on the back, as well as being able to have a go at others – gauging it on the character of the individual involved.

Jamaal Lascelles speaking to Alan Shearer for BBC Sport:

Rafa Benitez is a great manager.

“I think I have improved so much because of him. Not just football-wise but also man-management, to be a better captain, to be a better leader.

“He is somebody that I do really look up to and appreciate – everything that we has done.”

(Alan Shearer) ‘Does he treat you any differently to the rest of the players?’

“Yes…yesterday I didn’t really train because me and him was in the office all session.

“He will tell me to act a certain way, or make sure the boys stay positive and keep the dressing room going.

“Even if I do something wrong, even if I’m a bit too harsh on somebody. He will be like: ‘Listen, you might not be able to do that to him because of the character he is’.

“So he has taught me to how to speak to other people.

“Some people might need a pat on the back and some people I can have a go at.”