By Coral Barry
Jamaal Lascelles tore his Newcastle teammates to pieces during a dressing-room row after a dismal first half display against Southampton on Saturday, according to a report.
Newcastle endured a error-strewn opening 45 minutes at St Mary’s and were 2-0 down by the time the Magpies players retreated into a dejected and tense dressing-room at the break.
A report in the Chronicle Live has claimed that the dreadful performance sparked a heated row between the Newcastle players during the 15-minute interval and that Lascelles is said to have been particularly incensed at the commitment of his fellow teammates.
The 22-year-old has been a fringe Newcastle player for most of this season only five Premier League starts, although four of those have come in the last month.
The Chronicle claim that Lascelles’ voice was the loudest in the dressing room and Daryl Janmaat then took out his frustration out by punching a wall and subsequently breaking two of his fingers.
Lascelles’ strong words at half-time might have convinced Rafael Benitez to introduce him as a replacement for Steven Taylor immediately after the break, but it did little to inspire a response form the Newcastle players who conceded another goal soon after the restart and eventually lost 3-1.
The news comes after Lascelles went public with a scathing attack on his fellow players immediately after the defeat.
The former Nottingham Forrest told Radio Five Live on Saturday: “We need bigger characters on the pitch, players who care and who are going to get after each other.
“We have lacked it this season and no matter how good you are, if you don’t have that fight and hunger and desire, it doesn’t matter.
“We had Steve McClaren who is a great manager and now we’ve got Rafa Benitez, who is a great manager, so it’s clearly not that.
“It’s the players and we have to take full responsibility. It’s ourselves who need to change it and not the manager.
“We need to play with more heart. We’ve got flair players, tricky players, players with loads of talent, but we need more heart, we need more desire.”
In other Newcastle news, a key player has made a decision already on his future at St James’ Park.