Newcastle United briefing: Jamaal Lascelles explains bust-up, Rafa Benitez targets survival

Jamaal Lascelles and Yohan Cabaye
Jamaal Lascelles and Yohan Cabaye

Jamaal Lascelles has revealed why he came to blows with team-mate Mohamed Diame.

The Newcastle United pair clashed on the training field last month.

Rafa Benitez at the 125 Years United dinner (Pic: NUFC/Serena Taylor)

Rafa Benitez at the 125 Years United dinner (Pic: NUFC/Serena Taylor)

And Lascelles, the club's captain, has spoken about the incident in an interview with Alan Shearer.

READ MORE: Rafa Benitez wants to bring more 'great names' to Newcastle

United manager Rafa Benitez, meanwhile, has reiterated his key target this season.

We also ask if it's time for Rolando Aarons to get a Premier League chance this season.

Here's your daily briefing:

Fight club

Lascelles is prepared to upset – and even fight – his team-mates.

The 23-year-old reacted angrily during a training session.

Lascelles, handed the captain's armband by Benitez last year, was unhappy with Diame's efforts.

And he spoke about it on the BBC's The Premier League Show.

"I just didn't like what I saw," said the defender. "I don't care who I upset. If we fall out, we fall out. If it comes to blows, it comes to blows.

"I've got to do my job and that's why I wear the armband."

Lascelles – who is doubtful for the November 18 game against Manchester United with an ankle problem – also spoke about the influence Benitez has had on him at Newcastle.

Winging it

Is it time for Aarons to be given an opportunity?

Aarons has only played 77 minutes of cup football so far this season.

Winger Jacob Murphy has been coming off the bench for Benitez's side, but Aarons – who scored in Tuesday night's Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Oldham Athletic – is pushing for a recall.

We look at the choice for between Aarons and Murphy, signed for £12million from Norwich City in the summer.

Meanwhile, United winger Christian Atsu is having a "thigh complaint" assessed by Ghana's medical team.


What is Newcastle's target this season?

For Benitez, it's "simple" – Premier League survival.

Benitez had a message for supporters at this week's 125 Years United dinner, staged at Exhibition Park by the Newcastle United Foundation.

“My message very simple, especially after losing (against Bournemouth)," said Benitez. "My message has to be clearer and stronger: just stick together. It’s very simple and very clear.

“We were relegated two years ago, then we were promoted, which was a massive achievement to do it first time.

“Now we must realise the target is to stay in the Premier League, be sure that we are strong enough to do that.

“These young players ... some of them will grow and improve because they have new experiences in them, and after that we will be stronger."

Read the full interview here.

Cup tie

Callum Roberts, Victor Fernandez and Tom Heardman could all feature for United's Under-23s in tonight's Premier League International Cup tie against Liverpool at Prenton Park tonight (7pm kick-off).