Jamaal Lascelles is deputizing for captain Fabricio Coloccini as he recovers from his calf injury and the young center-back has talked to the BBC today about how Rafa Benitez conducts the training sessions at Newcastle and let’s just say Jamal is very complimentary about the former Valencia, Liverpool and Naples manager.
The good news is the 22 year-old says he sees the players starting to respond to the training – which could be good news for the team.
We hope it’s good news for the team.
Jamaal Lascelles – in action at the King Power Stadium
This is what Jamaal has told the BBC:
“To be fair the gaffer has got us doing some excellent training sessions.” “I think we are starting to get a reaction.”
“The last couple of games we have played well with good performances, so there is no reason why we can’t go there and get the three points we need.”
“He does a lot of tactical stuff which is brilliant and our ball play has been a lot better.” “Everybody is much more passionate and there is a desire to win and want to do well.”
“We are really focusing on the up and coming games and Saturday is massive for us.” “We have got to go there feeling positive and have been working really hard in training.”
It’s good the players are more passionate, far too many times this season under the woeful Steve McClaren, the players looked like they couldn’t care less and played like that – especially away from home.
We are hopefully seeing the influence of a top class manager on the players we have – and the squad is far too good to be relegated this season – but that’s what may still happen.
Rafa has been very quiet this week, as he does the work necessary to get the team ready for the all important game at Norwich City tomorrow.
Unfortunately Newcastle have suffered a huge blow in losing goalkeeper Rob Elliot for at least six months on Tuesday night in Dublin, but Karl Darlow now gets his chance between the posts at Carrow Road.
We expect Karl to do well after Rafa will have helped prepare the 25 year-old mentally for this vital game.