Jamaal Lascelles says five more wins will keep Newcastle United in the Premier League.
The club moved out of the relegation zone after beating Cardiff City 3-0 at St James’s Park on Saturday. And Lascelles believes the team needs to win a third of its remaining 15 games to stay up.
Newcastle have a good record against the teams around them in the division – and Huddersfield Town, Burnley, Crystal Palace and Southampton are yet to visit St James’s Park.
“I think five wins will probably secure it for us, so those games are going to be important for us,” said Lascelles, United’s captain.
“It’s nice to know we have those home games coming up, and we will want to make sure we get those wins in those games.
“We have to take it step by step and we need to concentrate on Watford, Man City and Tottenham first.”
Against the lower teams, you get a similar style of play, good energy, but what we have over them is quality.Jamaal Lascelles
On the club’s record against fellow strugglers, Lascelles said: “Against the lower teams, you get a similar style of play, good energy, but what we have over them is quality.
“We have quality all over the pitch, with (Salomon) Rondon and Ayoze (Perez) up front and good centre-halves all over the place. Personally, that’s what will be the difference.”
Lascelles’ defensive colleague Fabian Schar scored two of Newcastle’s goals against Cardiff, who dropped into the bottom three.
“It was the first goal which grabbed the game with two hands, and then his second was him being in the right place,” said Lascelles.
“Defensively, he was excellent. We were together, because I don’t think Martin (Dubravka) had to make a save. We defended really well.
“He’s a different kind of centre-half. I saw him the other night playing centre midfield (against Blackburn Rovers), and it looked like he had played there all the time. He got the chance to step in and grabbed it. He did a great job.
“We bounce off each other. They’re more ball playing centre-halves, and I’m more defensive.”
Lascelles also praised 21-year-old midfielder Sean Longstaff.
“Sean’s energy and legs in the middle helped,” he said. “Things seem more positive and confident than they have been. Hopefully, we can go from there.”
Lascelles had been passed fit to face Cardiff despite limping out of the club’s FA Cup replay win over Blackburn Rovers four days earlier (pictured right) with a hamstring problem.
“I had been feeling it before the Liverpool game, and felt it the other night,” said Lascelles. “It happened a few times in training too.
“We’re not in a position to lose more players given we have a few already injured, like Mo (Diame) and Jonjo (Shelvey). We had a big game coming up, and we needed bodies, so I decided to come off at Blackburn. I played (against Cardiff), and didn’t feel it once. It’s fine.”