Stuart Pearce: This is the one thing Newcastle ace Jamaal Lascelles is lacking
By Harry Sykes
Stuart Pearce has claimed that the only thing lacking in Jamaal Lascelles’ game is “a bit of nastiness”.
The Newcastle skipper led his team to a 2-1 defeat to his former club Nottingham Forest in Friday night’s Championship clash at the City Ground.
In a remarkable match, the Magpies had two men sent off in the first half and nearly held out for a point only for Lascelles’ late own goal to be decisive.
He was analysed at the match by Forest all-time great Pearce, who managed Lascelles during his second spell in charge at the club from 2014-15.
Pearce is a big admirer of the centre-back but explained what he felt was missing in the young defender’s game when he worked with him on a daily basis.
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“He had all the physical attributes, strong, good in the air and quick,” Pearce told Sky Sports 1’s live coverage of the match on Friday night.
“The only thing he lacked was that little bit of devilment, that bit of nastiness. But it speaks volumes that he has been made captain at a club of the stature of Newcastle.
“The main thing for him is he’s working for one of the best managers in the world.”
Lascelles has thrived at Newcastle since Rafael Benitez took charge at the club in March, establishing himself as a key member of the defence as well as the team’s club captain.
The 23-year-old, who graduated from the Forest academy, has made 20 appearances for Newcastle this season, with 18 of them being starts.
Lascelles played the full 90 minutes in the win over Forest, which ended with Newcastle’s fifth league defeat of the campaign.
Nevertheless, they remain at the Championship summit and two points clear of second-placed Brighton.
In other Newcastle news, fans reacted unhappily on Twitter to Benitez’s selection against Forest.