Lascelles shares honest verdict on Championship campaign, reveals what got Newcastle promoted
By Russell Edge
Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles has admitted that he found playing in the Championship difficult this season, and credited manager Rafael Benitez with the tactical nous that got the club over the line and back into the Premier League.
The Magpies secured automatic promotion with a 4-1 victory over Preston North End at St James’ Park on Monday, and are still in the chase for the title with fellow promoted side Brighton.
Newcastle have become just the second side in seven years to secure promotion in their first season after relegation, and currently sit four points behind the Seagulls with just two games left to play
Jamaal Lascelles, who was appointed Newcastle captain in the summer of 2016, has admitted that he endured a tough time in the second tier of English football, but insists it is a case of job done.
He told the Chronicle: “Overall it has been quite an emotional season in terms of ups and down, but we got the job done.
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“Sometimes games aren’t as good as the fans want but it’s never complacency.
“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs but they have been there at home and away games.
“Maybe we have suffered from anxiety and pressure, but the expectation has been there.”
Lascelles also claims that a lot of Newcastle’s success comes down to manager Rafa Benitez, who stayed at St James’ Park despite their relegation from the top flight.
The Spanish coach, who told Spanish radio station Cadena SER he was excited by the club as a project, has won both domestic and European competitions while managing in England, and the Newcastle captain believes he is the right man to improve the Magpies.
““With a great manager like Rafa Benitez, I am sure I will improve,” Lascelles said to the Chronicle.
“The manager’s tactics have pushed us over the line.”
The Magpies travel to Cardiff City on Friday night, knowing that victory will move them to within a point of title rivals Brighton.
In other Newcastle news, boss Benitez has reportedly been given the green light to begin his summer transfer business.