The Daily Mail have comments made by our captain Jamaal Lascelles that are honest and also show that the squad is ready to move on and do their best to make the current situation with Steve Bruce work.
This is what Jamaal has said as reported in the Daily Mail:
“I did think when we came back that it would be quite difficult coming back and not having a manager. I thought players could go off the rails and lose their heads, but they have remained professional.
“(Change) is always difficult as players and this is the first time it has happened to us as a group. We haven’t really had any direction.
“The players have to cross the white line and you need heart, passion and desire to be able to do that. Hopefully we can bring a few new faces in as well.”
Very good words from Jamaal and he has been open about his feelings when Rafa left. The squad would have had some turmoil and we still may see a few players that want to leave.
It would be reassuring if we heard from Martin Dubravka and Fabian Schar soon as they are the two players we fear could be wanting away.
We are not as worried about Sean Longstaff at the moment as he is from the area and those ties will be strong. What Steve Bruce may lack in tactical acumen compared to Rafa Benitez, his man-management skills have always been touted as being excellent. He will be able to talk to Sean and hopefully, they can forge a good relationship.
Jamaal Lascelles– his leadership should help with transition to Steve Bruce
Jamaal Lascelles also has commented on what he has heard about his new head coach. He also puts the emphasis on moving on from what’s happened which will be very important.
His comments about what is expected of this team compared to the past season are very revealing to us.
“I’ve only heard positive things about him from people I’ve spoken to. He’s old school in that he wants players to work hard, behave properly.
“You know it’s always good to take your instructions from someone who has been a top player.
“I’m looking forward to it, a totally new challenge, tactics and structure. It is going to be different to what we’ve been used to.
“What happened, happened. People got upset, but it’s done now. We’ve got to look forward. We’ve got a great manager and we’ve got to remain positive.
“As a group we have been written off and proven people wrong. We’ve been tipped for relegation the last two seasons and finished 10th and 13th.
“People never have anything positive to say about us as players. We’re always being told we’re not good enough or we’re not doing something right.
“We try to do the right things.”
Again these are very good words from Jamaal. His willingness to move forward should prove vital for the squad.
We are very interested in his comments about the club being tipped for relegation the last two seasons. It is widely believed that it was Rafa Benitez’s skill as a top manager that kept this group of players out of relegation the past two years.
This squad will be eager to prove that they had some say in that as well. They will be determined to prove that there is more to this club and will have that opportunity now that Rafa has left.
If Steve Bruce can keep this club above the relegation zone, then it will be a team effort. Though a lot of this depends on getting this summer’s recruitment right, there are some superb players at this club.
Now will be their opportunity to prove that they can maintain the same level of performance without the guidance of the mighty Rafa Benitez.