Newcastle's Lascelles makes surprising revelation over relationship with Benitez
By Russell Edge
Newcastle United defender and club captain Jamaal Lascelles has revealed that manager Rafael Benitez treats him differently to other players at the club.
The former Nottingham Forest centre back signed for the Magpies in 2014 but spent a year on loan with his former side before arriving on Tyneside in 2015.
After being thrown into the first team during the ill-fated 2015/16 campaign as a result of an injury crisis in defence, he impressed with his performances at the back, demonstrating his leadership qualities.
That led to him being named the club’s captain by Benitez ahead of their campaign in the second tier, and he performed admirably as the north east giants returned to the Premier League at the first time of asking, securing the Championship title on the final day of the season.
However, despite being just 23-years-old, he has surprisingly revealed that the manager treats him differently as a result of the captaincy, even stating that he was missing training as a result of the pair’s meetings in the boss’ office.
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When asked by Alan Shearer whether he received any special treatment for BBC Sport’s The Premier League Show, he responded: “Yeah, yesterday I didn’t really train very much because me and him were in his office all session. He’s someone I really look up to because of everything he has done.
“He will tell me to act a certain way, make sure the boys stay positive and get the dressing room going.
“Even if I do something wrong, even if I’m a bit too harsh on somebody, he’ll be like: ‘Listen, you might not be able to do that to him because of the character he is.’
“I think I’ve improved so much because of him – not just footballing wise, but also my man-management and to make me a better leader.
“He’s taught me how to speak to other people; some people might need a pat on the back, and some people I can have a go at.”
This season has seen Lascelles continue his fine form in the heart of the Newcastle defence, having appeared in every one of the club’s league matches, although he did begin the campaign on the bench against Tottenham.
His 11 outings, which have resulted in two goals, takes his total number of appearances for the club to 79 across all competitions, having netted seven times.
In other Newcastle United news, the club are looking to reignite a swoop for a former target after failing with a £20million bid.