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

Jamaal Lascelles is determined to put his mistakes behind him, according to Rafa Benitez.

Saturday, 15th December 2018, 6:31 am
Updated Saturday, 15th December 2018, 6:38 am
Rafa Bentiez and Jamaal Lascelles

Lascelles, Newcastle United’s captain, was at fault for both goals in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

And the 25-year-old is sweating on his place for this afternoon’s game against Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium.

With Fabian Schar back from suspension, Benitez has four of his five centre-halves available, though Florian Lejeune, back from long-term injury, is not yet ready for his Premier League comeback.

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Asked if Lascelles’ form was a concern, manager Benitez said: “I would like to see every player playing well, but obviously sometimes, when you have a bad game, it’s just to analyse how you played and what you can do.

“I think he’s reacted really well this week. He was trying to pay attention to little things in training.

“Normally, when you have players who know they have done little things wrong and you know you’re not playing at the level you’re usually playing, you have to pay attention to little details that can give you the confidence back.

“I think we were all a little upset after the game, but we just have to be sure that we cannot make these kind of mistakes and that we get back to playing well, like we have been.”

Benitez – who has been fielding three centre-halves – will continue to chop and change his defence depending on the opposition and availability of his own players.

“Every game is different,” said Benitez.

“The players, sometimes they did really well in some of the games, and sometimes they didn’t do as well in others. Some are suited to some games, and some others.

“So what I like to do is watch how they are playing, watch how they train, and then make a decision during the week. If I have all of them available, I have to make some decisions.

“That’s not a big problem. What I say so many times is that, actually, it’s good news for us. These kind of problems are good news for us.”

Meanwhile, Benitez’s team selection for the Huddersfield game will be hit by injuries and a suspension.

Benitez will be without the suspended DeAndre Yedlin, who was dismissed against Wolves.

And Federico Fernandez, Jonjo Shelvey and Karl Darlow will also miss out along with Lejeune, who made his comeback for the club’s Under-23s this week.

“Yedlin’s suspended,” said Benitez. “Fernandez has a knock. He’s progressing well, but not available.

“Darlow has a problem. Hopefully, he will be fully fit next week. Shelvey is the other one. We’ll see how he does after 10 days.

“Florian’s getting closer, not this game. We have Fede, Jonjo, Darlow (unavailable), and we have to decide the squad.”

Lejeune played 46 minutes for the Under-23s in their 2-1 win over Norwich City at Whitley Park on Monday night.

“Lejeune’s good news,” said Benitez. “Think about cruciate ligament injuries. They normally take nine months, but within four months, he was playing, and that’s good news for us.”