Why Jamaal Lascelles is NOT worried about Newcastle’s Championship form

Jamaal Lascelles
Jamaal Lascelles

Jamaal Lascelles says he’s not worried after Newcastle United suffered a seventh Championship defeat of the season.

Rafa Benitez’s side were beaten 1-0 by Blackburn Rovers on Monday.

And the result saw the club drop down to second in the division ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Birmingham City.

Newcastle, now two points behind league leaders Brighton and Hove Albion, have lost two of the three games they have played without suspended midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.

Benitez must also do without African Cup of Nations-bound trio Mohamed Diame, Christian Atsu and Chancel Mbemba for the next few weeks.

But Lascelles, United’s captain, feels the team can quickly recover from what he describes as a “blip”.

“There’s nothing to worry about,” said Lascelles.

“We lost our first two games at the start of the season, and we still managed to get over 50 points. So this is the second half of the season.

“We’ve started off with a little blip, but we’ll pick it back up and prepare for the next game like we always do.”

Newcastle take on Birmingham in a third-round tie at St Andrew’s this weekend.

And Lascelles, 23, says the players will be be taking the competition just as seriously as they would a league fixture.

Lascelles added: “I don’t think it matters what competition we play or team we play, we’re just going to go to St Andrew’s and try to win.

“It’s about getting momentum, because it breeds confidence.

“We’ll be looking to go there and win.”

A second-half free-kick from Blackburn’s Charlie Mulgrew – who also scored the only goal of the game at St James’s Park in November – saw United beaten at Ewood Park, where they were backed by almost 7,000 fans.

“We’re very disappointed,” said the Magpies skipper.

“But we’re not going to beat ourselves up about it because we can take a lot of positive away from this game.

“From start to finish, we controlled the game. We dictated the pace of the game and we stuck to our gameplan.

“We do need to be a bit more ruthless, but then again in other games we have been very ruthless.

“So it’s nothing to worry about if you look at it overall.”

Newcastle created a number of chances at Ewood Park, but they couldn’t find a way past goalkeeper Jason Steele, who was named the man of the match.

“We just needed to put our chances away,” said Lascelles.

“I think they had one shot on target, which was the free-kick, and we had a lot of chances and those two goals disallowed.

“But we’re not complaining about that because they were the correct decisions from the referee.

“We aren’t going to beat ourselves up about it. Obviously, we’re disappointed they beat us twice this season, that’s not acceptable at all.

“As players we need to learn how to control games better.

“We’ve only drawn one game this season. We need to turn these sort of games into draws.”