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Benitez still undecided on key Newcastle senior position, shares what could swing his mind

By Alex Taylor

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez may not make Jamaal Lascelles his full-time captain at St James’ Park, despite giving him the armband on Saturday.

The Spaniard named Lascelles as Newcastle skipper for the 6-0 friendly win over Irish club Bohemian on Saturday but is still undecided on the player taking the role permanently.

Benitez revealed that his final decision will depend upon how the players conduct themselves in training every day.

The Toon chopped and changed captains during their most recent domestic campaign, with Fabricio Coloccini, Moussa Sissoko and Jonjo Shelvey all donning the armband.

“It was the first game and he was on the pitch,” Benitez told Chronicle Live.”We will have to think carefully and choose the right one.”

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When asked if he knew who is captain for the season would be, the Magpies boss said: “Not yet. We have to keep working hard and see how they react every day.”

Lascelles, 22, is believed to have caught Benitez’s eye towards the end of last season after becoming a big voice in the dressing room.

He also made forthright public comments which went down well with supporters frustrated at the lack of fight from the players before a late rally that ultimately proved to be in vain.

Newcastle were relegated to the Championship last season after a woeful Premier League campaign.

The St James’ Park outfit have endured a difficult few months but after suffering the loss of Andros Townsend to Crystal Palace, but will be excited about the future following an array of high-profile summer signings.

In other Newcastle news, Rafa Benitez is ever hopeful that Moussa Sissoko and Georginio Wijnaldum will remain at Newcastle despite being heavily linked with moves.