Achraf Lazaar reveals he's using sports shrink to help him get over Newcastle United blow

Achraf Lazaar has revealed he has a mental coach to thank for helping him get a positive mindset after being snubbed by Newcastle United.

Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 4:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 5:19 pm
Achraf Lazaar had a tough spell at Benevento.

The left-back was frozen out by manager Rafa Benitez this season after a failed loan spell at Benevento last term.

Lazaar was restricted to a handful of appearances for the Magpies' second string before being loaned out to Sheffield Wednesday in January.

Lazaar has been frozen out at Newcastle.

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And he has revealed he has started working again with Italian mental coach Roberto Civitarese since the start of the season.

Lazaar said: "I have worked with him for three years but in the last year I have started with him again seriously.

"I met him (Civitarese) three years ago. We have been speaking since then. He has been helping me. We have seriously worked since the start of the season.

"I see him whenever I want but we talk every day."

Civitarese, who has worked with a number of players in the past, including former Sunderland striker Fabio Borini, has been helping Lazaar focus on the future, not the past.

The 27-year-old has made just five cup starts for the Magpies since his £5million move from Palermo in 2016, and has yet to start a league game. He last featured for the first team in August 2017 in the 3-2 EFL Cup defeat at home to Nottingham Forest.

"It benefits me speaking to someone," said the Morocco international told the Sheffield Star. "It helps me talking about life and everything I do.

"You are like so privileged (as a footballer) to have everything in your hands. You have to be proud of you and give 100 per cent every day. If you give 100 per cent every day, you are going to see the results.

"He (Civitarese) tells me to focus on the present and not think about the past or whatever is going to happen next year. We think about the positives.

"I think having a positive mindset is the key to everything in life.

"For me, it is 99 per cent of everything and for football it is the most important thing."

Lazaar has made just four appearances for Wednesday since his loan switch, with a hamstring injury disrupting his spell.

He made his Owls comeback as a late substitute at home to Nottingham Forest on April 9 before Steve Bruce handed him a start in Wednesday's Easter Monday win over Bristol City.

Now he is focusing on a positive end to the season before assessing his options in the summer.

He added: "Sometimes you put something in your head that you don't need to. Sometimes you think a lot and you don't need to.

"You need a person that you can have confidence in and you can say everything to. It can help you for thinking good and talking positive in football and in life too."