Lascelles issues warning to Tottenham ahead of Newcastle clash
By Danny Wright
Newcastle defender Jamaal Lascelles has warned Tottenham that they are going to find themselves “up against it” when his side’s Premier League season kicks off on Sunday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men are largely expected to challenge for the league title this term, but Lascelles, 23, is anticipating a tough game for St. James’ Park’s first visitors of the campaign.
The Magpies’ last match in the top-flight was a 5-1 hammering of Spurs on the final day of the 2015/16 season but Lascelles is under no illusion as to how tough the encounter may be for Rafa Benitez’s Championship title holders.
“It’ll be a tough game against Tottenham Hotspur,” said the former Nottingham Forest centre-back to the Newcastle Chronicle.
“But we have a good group of lads and players and anybody who comes to St James’ Park will have their hands full.
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“Whether it’s a scrappy game or a game of fluid football, they are going to be up against it.
“It will be tough but we are preparing and getting ready for it.”
Spurs are the only team in the Premier League that have failed to announce the signing of a new player this summer, however things haven’t quite gone as planned on Tyneside for Benitez, who has already admitted that he has been frustrated with the lack of activity.
Christian Atsu, Florian Lejeune, Javier Manquillo, Jacob Murphy and Mikel Merino have been Newcastle’s only signings of the summer, but the Spanish manager is still widely reported to be in the chase for a new goalkeeper before the window shuts.
Lascelles is expected to be partnered by Frenchman Lejeune in the heart of the Magpies defence for most of the season.
The former England Under-21 international featured 43 times as Newcastle won the Championship title last term, scoring three goals and supplying two assists in the process.
In other Newcastle news, a major development has been reported in the Toon’s pursuit of this 23-year-old free agent.