Jamaal Lascelles reveals why he HAD to speak to Joselu after Newcastle’s win over Stoke

Jamaal Lascelles and Rafa Benitez
Jamaal Lascelles and Rafa Benitez

Jamaal Lascelles was happy to get Joselu out of trouble at St James’s Park – after the striker missed a hat-trick of chances.

Newcastle United’s captain scored the winner in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Stoke City.

The result moved the club up to fourth place in the Premier League.

Lascelles – who had also netted the club’s winner against Swansea six days earlier – spoke to Joselu after the final whistle.

The striker, signed from Stoke for £5million last month, was disappointed after failing to score against his former club.

Asked about their embrace, Lascelles said: “That’s what team-mates do.

Joselu

Joselu

“If it was down the other end and I’d let a goal in and he went down the other end and scored, I’d have gone up to him and said the same.

“He knows himself he should’ve scored a couple of goals today, but good team-mates get each other out of the ****.

“He’s done a great job for us. He held the ball up well, he kept finding himself in dangerous areas and he’s been a real threat for defences in other games as well, so it’s certainly not one of them when I’m going to have a go at him.

“He knows he should have put a couple away, but it’s no different from one of us losing the ball or not making a block at the back.

“It’s what team-mates are for. He’s been a great player for us so far.”

Lascelles headed a second-half corner from Matt Ritchie in off the crossbar.

Christian Atsu’s first-half goal had been cancelled out by a 57th-minute strike from Xherdan Shaqiri.

Asked what was the most goals he had scored in a season, the 23-year-old said: “Three or four, I think.

“I don’t think I’ve scored two so early on, but Matt Ritchie’s delivery is just so good.

“In the Premier League, it’s a little bit different, because in the Championship it’s more of a wrestling match in the box. Players will get hold of you and they’re big, strong boys and they defend set-pieces well.

“In the Premier League, when they mark zonal, you can get a running jump. Last week (against Swansea), I managed to get myself into a good area and I was disappointed I didn’t score in the first half. I should have done.

“But it’s something we’re working on. I’d like to aim higher.”

Lascelles’s winner saw United record a third successive Premier League victory for the first time since 2014.

He said: “It wasn’t the start we were looking for, but we’ve picked ourselves back up and that just shows what type of characters we are.

“We’re an ambitious bunch of guys. We’re young. We’re energetic. Whatever team we face, we’ll give them a hard game. We were unlucky that we didn’t score three, four or five.”

Lascelles, set to sign a new long-term contract at the club, was reappointed captain before the season-opener against Tottenham Hotspur.

Asked if he had had any doubts that he would keep the armband, he said: “I don’t get why he wouldn’t.

“We got promoted. We came first. Why would he take the armband off me?”