It was worrying to see Jamaal Lascelles leave the field after we had gone 1-0 up on Saturday through Ayoze Perez.
But it was good news on the captain yesterday and he came off only as a precaution and he is fine and will be training tomorrow.
Our next game is a crucial one at home to bottom club Swansea on Saturday and it will not be easy – they will be very well organized.
But we have to go all out and try to get all 3 points on Saturday.
We were helped by playing well and getting a good 3-1 win against Luton on Saturday in the FA Cup, and that was our first win at home since back on October 21st when we took Crystal Palace apart 1-0.
It was also good to get 3 goals even if it was against League Two opposition.
Jamaal Lascelles – Newcastle captain
Ayoze Perez continued to score and hot a brace and Jonjo Shelvey opened his account for the season.
It was a terrific crowd of 47,069 at St James’s Park and Benitez fielded a side that would not have looked out of place in the Premier League.
This is what Jamaal has said about the game as reported in the Shields Gazette:
“A lot of times you see managers pick lesser teams in the cups, but our manager named a strong one,”
“He said to me before the game that we want to go out there and win and see how far we can get.
“He didn’t have to rest anyone because we don’t have another game for a week.”
“Every game we play we want to win. “I thought the boys conducted themselves really well.”
“We’re in a position where we do need to focus on the Premier League, but we knew we had a good chance against Luton.”
“We want to see how far we can get in the cup without taking our eye off the league for one minute.”
“Obviously, you fancy your chances more in the cup the longer you’re in it. “Your preparation has got to be the same whether it’s your first game in the cup or the final.”
“You’ve got to have the same focus for every game.”
“Ayoze has scored two goals, and that gives him more belief. Jonjo was due a goal as well.”
“Different people are scoring for us, and it’s important that it’s not just one or two. “The whole team’s starting to get goals now.”
“It’s definitely a confidence booster, and now we’re really looking forward to Saturday.”
“Everybody wants to play and is pleased to be picked – that wasn’t always the case. “In the past, some players may have looked to have this weekend off after the busy period.”
“It certainly wouldn’t happen now. “We have a good group of lads here and everyone wants the same thing.”
“Yes, it’s something I would love to do (win the FA Cup). That would be a dream come true for me.”
“I lifted the Championship trophy last season, and would love to lift the cup.”
“But it’ll be tough. A lot of teams want to win it and will fancy their chances. But you never know.”
“I’m fine,” “I felt it go a little bit and took no chances. It’s nothing, really, and I’ll be training Tuesday.”
“I felt it a bit and didn’t want to make it worse. “I think I made the right decision to come off and get it right for Swansea.”
It’s a much easier schedule in the Premier League than the Championship unless we qualify for Europe then it’s just as bad if not worse than the Championship schedule.
The key to an FA Cup run this year is that we can pull away from the bottom of the league and we get another couple of decent draws.
As Jamaal says the players don’t really need to be rested and Rafa may even be able to turn this season around by doing a couple of things.
We need to pull away from the relegation zone (quickly) and then have a good run in the FA Cup.
What do you think?