By Will Butcher
Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles believes that maintaining morale among the Magpies squad is key in their bid to gain promotion to the Premier League at the first attempt.
The centre-back, who was appointed as the man to wear the Newcastle armband last week, believes it his job to keep players happy and knows exactly how he can do that.
Talking to the Evening Chronicle, the former Nottingham Forest man believes a day out at the local go-karting track could keep the players happy and in-turn achieve their aims.
“We are here to get back to the Premier League,” Lascelles said. “So players need to stay happy and that’s my job.
“If it means going for meals or go-karting, or just making sure people or positive, then I can affect it off the pitch.”
The 22-year-old was named captain despite making just 21 appearances for the Magpies before the start of the season, but was shown faith by former Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez.
Despite Newcastle’s opening game of the season ending in a 1-0 defeat to a Matt Smith inspired Fulham, Lascelles remained confident when asked about the season ahead.
“I don’t fear it (the season),” he said. “We’re Newcastle and we have to go to every game thinking we are going to win. We can’t get complacent and take our foot off the gas.
“But we should have a sort of arrogance about us. We shouldn’t be in this league and on paper we are one of the best teams in the league, so we have to act like it on the pitch.”
Newcastle’s next fixture comes in the form of Huddersfield on Saturday, after they received a bye in the first round of the EFL cup.
In other Newcastle news, this Premier League defender is set to undergo a medical ahead of a move to the Magpies.