Newcastle United briefing: Rafa Benitez on Liverpool job, Jamaal Lascelles opens up on captaincy

Jamaal Lascelles and Yohan Cabaye
Jamaal Lascelles and Yohan Cabaye

It's kind of a big deal.

The captaincy at Newcastle United can't be taken lightly.

Yet, Jamaal Lascelles, the club's skipper, is just 23-year-old.

Lascelles has been speaking about the responsibility of leading Newcastle.

The club is seventh in the Premier League ahead of Monday night's game against Burnley at Turf Moor.

Meanwhile, Rafa Benitez has spoken about the prospect of returning to Liverpool in the future in an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

Finally, 20-year-old midfielder Dan Barlaser has reacted to his winning goal for the club's Under-23s in last night's Premier League International Cup tie.

Here's your daily briefing:

Unbelievable

United manager Benitez appointed Lascelles as captain's last year.

Dan Barlaser

Dan Barlaser

The defender – who succeeded Fabricio Coloccini as skipper following the club's relegation – led Benitez's team to the Championship title.

"It’s obviously a massive deal," said Lascelles. "Sometimes I’ll drive past the ground, look at the stadium and think ‘I’m the captain of this club – it’s unbelievable’.”

Lascelles has also revealed what's made the job easier.

Meanwhile, the Derby-born player, signed in 2014, touched on takeover talks after the club's weekend win over Crystal Palace.

"To be honest, we don’t really look into that," said Lascelles. "Whatever happens, happens. The manager just tells us to concentrate on football."

European night

Peter Beardsley's Under-23 side got back to winning ways last night.

Newcastle beat Sparta Prague at Whitley Park 2-1 thanks to a second-half winner from Barlaser, who signed a contract extension last week.

Barlaser netted from 35-yards to end a seven-game run without a victory.

"I just thought when I was on the edge of the box to hit it as hard as I could into the corner," Barlaser told NUFC TV.

"The two lads who were running after me were knackered, so I thought I'd take a touch and just hit it. Luckily for me, it went in the corner."

And finally...

Benitez has spoken about the possibility of managing Spain in the future.

"If I do well here, then maybe," the Spaniard told Marca. "If not, the national team won't happen."

Benitez was also asked if he would ever return to Liverpool, the club he guided to the Champions League in 2005.

"Let's see what happens in a few years," said the 57-year-old. "And the same in relation to Liverpool."