Jamaal Lascelles reveals the '˜goosebumps' he gets from Newcastle's fans
Jamaal Lascelles told of his 'pride' after capataining Newcastle United to a ninth successive win.
Dwight Gayle scored both goals in yesterday’s 2-0 win over Leeds United at Elland Road.
And the result took the club five points clear of second-placed Brighton and Hove Albion in the Championship.
Newcastle are also nine points clear of third-placed Reading.
Lascelles and Gayle were the last players to leave the pitch at Elland Road, where Rafa Benitez’s side were backed by 2,750 jubilant fans.
“I am very proud,” said Lascelles, who celebrated his 23rd birthday during the international break.
“It was a tough game, and I knew what we were going to face.
“There was a lot of build-up around this game, and it’s probably bigger than others in that sense.
“But we still prepared for it the same as any other match. Any team we face, we’ll take it to them in the right professional manner.
“It was a sold-out stadium, but we play in front of 52,000 every week.
“Leeds is a massive club with history and big stadium, but it isn’t going to faze use in that way.”
Gayle, recalled to the starting XI at the expense of Aleksandar Mitrovic, opened the scoring midway through the first half after Robert Green dropped a hopeful punt forward from midfielder Jack Colback.
And the striker scored from close range early in the second half after Vurnon Anita found him in the box.
“We took our goals really well,” said Lascelles.
“For the first one, Jack’s trying to claim it was a shot and a rebound, but I think it was a mishit cross. And our second was excellent.
“Once again we defended really well too.
“Overall, it was a solid team performance, and we’ll return to training and get ready for the next game.”
Gayle had been struck in a nightclub while celebrating Lascelles’ birthday in Liverpool last weekend.
But the 26-year-old – who has scored 13 goals this season – was all smiles as he left the pitch with Lascelles at the end of the game as the club’s fans applauded their efforts.
“The support these fans shows us and when they’re singing like that, it just gives you goosebumps,” said Lascelles, who succeeded Fabricio Coloccini as captain in the summer.
“I feel I need to give them back more, so I always try to get as close as I can and clap them.
“The fans are excellent, both home and away, so if they carry on like that it’s a massive boost for us. Credit to them once again.”
Defender Lascelles was also pleased with the clean sheet Newcastle’s defence kept at Elland Road.
Only Brighton have conceded fewer goals than Newcastle, the division’s top scorers.
“Keeping clean sheets – that’s my job,” said Lascelles. “That’s my bread and butter.
“But this was a team performance. It starts from the front with Dwight closing down.
“The midfielders were solid putting passes in, then the back four work well as a unit.”
Goalkeeper Karl Darlow also made a key save from Eunan O’Kane minutes before Gayle scored his second goal.
“Darlow was also unbelievable and made some crucial blocks and saves,” added Lascelles.
Meanwhile, Newcastle manager Benitez feels his team is in a “strong position” ahead of a tough run of fixtures.
“You have to give credit to our players, because I said before if we have the fans, staff and players all pushing in the same direction, we will be stronger,” said Benitez.
“We are in a strong position now, but there are still too many games to play. We know that it is difficult.”