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Jamaal Lascelles told Ashley he had to keep ‘special’ Rafa Benitez – Now says players can’t let heads drop

1 month ago
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Towards the end of last season, Jamaal Lascelles gave a big interview (see below) urging Mike Ashley to do everything he could to keep Rafa Benitez.

The Newcastle United Captain declaring:

“It does worry us that he could leave as there aren’t many managers like him and Newcastle United should do everything they can to keep him.

“He is special.

“Even at the start of the season, when everyone is panicking and we’ve got all those big teams to play and we find ourselves down in the bottom three, he stays so calm.”

Mike Ashley of course had no intention of trying to keep the top class manager, instead desperate to return to a system whereby a ahead coach would be appointed who accepted he only had authority to train and pick the team, with no say on transfers or anything else of importance.

Only five months after that Jamaal Lascelles interview, the NUFC Captain has given another one, with Newcastle in the relegation zone and facing a massive game on Saturday.

However, instead of the ‘special’ Rafa Benitez we have the not so special Steve Bruce and will he be calm or simply adding to the panic if the team continues to struggle?

Jamaal Lascelles says that ‘We need to make sure we don’t let our heads drop. We have a big game against Brighton coming up and it’s a one we need to be getting three points from.’

The Captain saying that the team have to take the positives out of Saturday and try to prevent the defensive mistakes that are creeping in, only three clubs outside the bottom three have conceded more goals so far than Newcastle. The last two seasons built around a Rafa Benitez drilled and disciplined defence, both PL seasons only two clubs outside the top four conceded less goals than Newcastle and with seemingly so few goals in this Steve Bruce side, it is imperative that he gets things right at the back.

Jamaal Lascelles – 23 April 2019:

“Of course we want Rafa Benitez to stay.

“Since he has been here we have been doing really well.

“Even in the season we got relegated, he came in and we started winning games.

“In the Championship season we came first, tenth last year [in the Premier League] and now we are finishing strongly this year.

“As players we want him here but we are not in control of whatever is going on…but hopefully he gets tied down.

“It does worry us that he could leave as there aren’t many managers like him and Newcastle United should do everything they can to keep him.

“He is special.

“Even at the start of the season, when everyone is panicking and we’ve got all those big teams to play and we find ourselves down in the bottom three, he stays so calm.

“He knows his players, he trusts his own ability to get the best out of his players and that’s such an important thing for a manager to have.”

Jamaal Lascelles after Saturdays defeat talking to the official club site:

“We knew it was going to be a tough game.

Liverpool are a good side and we started off really well.

“Unfortunately, we let them back into the game but, overall, we shouldn’t let our heads drop as they’re a really strong side.

“The game plan was going very well and we started off brightly, we thought if we defend well, we can do well against them but even if it’s a lack of concentration for a second, these teams can hurt you.

“It was a great goal from Jetro (Willems) and I thought we came out of the blocks really sharp. It was just a shame that we couldn’t hold onto the lead but we’ll look back at the videos and how we could have stopped the goals.

“There were a few mistakes in there but sometimes you have to respect the other team as they are Champions League winners.

“There are positives to take from the first half in particular and we need to make sure we don’t let our heads drop.

“We have a big game against Brighton coming up and it’s a one we need to be getting three points from so that’s what we’ll be looking to do.”

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