Jamaal Lascelles on squad spirit, goalline heroics and why he thought he’d get chance to score winner

Jamaal Lascelles celebrates at the final whistle.
Jamaal Lascelles celebrates at the final whistle.

A tight-knit dressing room off the park is translating to performances on it – that’s the view of Newcastle United’s match-winner Jamaal Lascelles.

The skipper was the Magpies’ hero at the Liberty Stadium as his goal line clearance then towering headed goal ensured United won on the road for the first time in the Premier League since 2015.

Tammy Abraham goes around Rob Elliot, only to be denied by Jamaal Lascelles

Tammy Abraham goes around Rob Elliot, only to be denied by Jamaal Lascelles

While many outside the club have had doubts about the quality possessed in the United ranks, after a summer of transfer failings, one thing that has been massively overlooked, according to Lascelles, is the spirit within the camp.

And the captain believes it’s on days like yesterday, where that really comes to the fore.

“The boys were excellent,” he said.

“We knew it would be a tough game. Swansea like to play football but we knew we could get at them and had a game plan.

Jamaal Lascelles heads home the winner.

Jamaal Lascelles heads home the winner.

“I have got great boys around me and great support. We are very close and it follows through on to the pitch.

“These are the teams we need to beat. They are a good side but we were the better team on the day. The Premier League is tough and that is why we need to be on it every week.”

On the goal itself, Lascelles says he always thought United would get a chance from a set-piece, particularly with Paul Clement’s men setting up with a zonal marking system.

“With zonal marking, I am not a fan,” said the 23-year-old.

“To see them set up like that I thought we’d get chances.

“Matt Ritchie has a great delivery. It was my job to get on the end of it.”

And while many may be looking at Lascelles as a hero, not only for his goal, but his last ditch block of Tammy Abraham’s goal-bound strike, the central defender is a little more critical.

“I was mad at myself for letting Tammy Abraham get in that position,” he said.

“Fortunately, I was able to get back and slide in before he hit it.”