Jamaal Lascelles has turned out to be a very good captain for us this season for one so young – although he’s getting on a bit, having just turned 23 last Friday.
Jamaal is one player who has thrived at Newcastle ever since Rafa came to the club last March.
After hardly getting a game under former manager Steve McClaren, Jamaal is now a regular starter for Rafa Benitez.
Jamaal Lascelles in training at Benton
Rafa soon recognized not only Jamaal’s playing skills but also his leadership and seemed to have little hesitation in making him the new captain in the summer, after Fabricio Coloccini finally left the club after eight years on Tyneside.
Jamaal has been interviewed and has given a good response to how Newcastle players will handle this tough test:
“The fans are quite lively down there.” “But this is our job, this is what we do. We can handle the pressure.”
“We play in front of 52,000 every other weekend, so that is a massive stage – but we are looking forward to it.”
“Leeds are a good team – they have always been up there in the Championship – but, like I’ve said before, we don’t really look at other teams too much.”
“I am confident that whoever we play we can put up a good show. So we are just going to play in the right way, a professional manner, take it to them on Sunday.”
Jamaal has played 18 times for Newcastle this season with one goal.
It will be a completely sold-out Elland Road on Sunday for the first time in six years and it should be a cracking game.
Here’s the current league positions with Newcastle top and Leeds United now in 6th place after moving up the table over the last several weeks.
Three in five Newcastle fans think we can win this game and make it 8 wins in a row.