Rafa Benitez reveals his view on Jamaal Lascelles' form for Newcastle

Rafa Benitez has given Jamaal Lascelles his backing ahead of Newcastle United's visit to Vicarage Road.

Saturday, 29th December 2018, 8:06 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 1:52 am
Jamaal Lascelles.

A misdirected clearance from captain Lascelles led to Liverpool's first goal in the club's 4-0 Boxing Day defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.

And the form of the 25-year-old – who signed a new long-term contract at St James's Park in October – has come under scrutiny this season.

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Benitez – who has fielded a five-man defence in recent weeks – is looking for his team to cut out the errors which have proved so costly in the Premier League so far this season.

“The point with the centre-backs is that we're playing with two and afterwards with three, and we have done well with both and badly with both systems," said manager Benitez, speaking ahead of this afternoon's game against Watford.

"You can change players and anyone can play, and anyone can have a good game and anyone can make mistakes. You have to accept that.

"The point for us is to try to reduce the number of mistakes, not just for Jamaal but for everyone.

"We have bodies there and it is more a question of how we can improve them, and how much we can stay focused to do the things we have done in a lot of games.

"We have kept clean sheets, I think we have six. We have done it because we have been solid in defence and also because the strikers and midfielders have helped.

"It's something we have to repeat in every game. It’s not Jamaal, it’s Jamaal and all the other centre-backs.”