Jamaal Lascelles reveals what's surprised him at Newcastle United this summer
Jamaal Lascelles says his team-mates make the job of captain easy at Newcastle United.
Lascelles is ready to lead Steve Bruce's side out against Arsenal at St James’s Park on Sunday.
The 25-year-old has led the club to the Championship title and 10th and 13th-placed finishes in the Premier League since being appointed skipper by Rafa Benitez three years ago.
“I was thinking about that the other day – it only seems like the other day we were in the Championship and I was 22,” said Lascelles.
“I’m 25 now, and hopefully we can have another productive season. We know it’ll be difficult, but the gaffer’s doing a great job. The big man (Joelinton) is a great asset for us, and we’re raring to go.”
Bruce succeeded Benitez at the club last month.
"It’s been an interesting pre-season for us, obviously, not having a manager to start off with,” said Lascelles. "But now the gaffer’s in, things have been going well. The boys are enjoying his training sessions, and I think we have done pretty well in the games we’ve played. The boys have really enjoyed it – I definitely have.
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"We weren't sure how it was going to be, but he’s a lively manager, the door’s always open, he has banter with us, but when we train, we work hard.
"It’s been really professional. We’ve been doing a lot of running, and we’re all really fit and we’ll be flying on Sunday."
Lascelles thought his captaincy skills would be tested when he reported back to the club, which was then without a manager, on July 4.
"I thought I was going to have a real tough job on my hands,” said Lascelles. "With Ben (Dawson) coming in as head of the Academy, I thought maybe the boys might not listen and some of them could sack it off.
"Maybe that could happen with other teams, but in fairness to the boys, we remained professional, really respected Ben, and we’ve all really respected the gaffer since he come in."
Asked about new signings Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin, Lascelles told Sky Sports: "They’re all fast, they’re all physical, they’ve all got goals in them, they’re hungry."