Newcastle United news: Shelvey under scrutiny, Benitez slams flops, fans back Lascelles comments about squad

Jonjo Shelvey's role as captain is under scrutiny
Jonjo Shelvey's role as captain is under scrutiny

Rafa Benitez has slammed his under-performing squad and called for more "commitment, passion and character" from his side.

The Newcastle United manager was speaking in the wake of the defeat to Southampton, a result which leaves the club deep in relegation trouble.

Benitez said: "We can win games, and if we start winning it will be different because we don’t need to be the best team in the Premier League, but we have to be the best team in the bottom four.

"We are not doing that at the moment, so I think that we need to start winning against Swansea and change a lot of things ... change the commitment, the passion, the character and the way that we play"

Do you agree with Benitez?

Read his comments in full here:
Jamaal Lascelles caused a stir over the weekend with his comments in the aftermath of Newcastle United’s crushing 3-1 defeat at Southampton.

The 22-year-old – who only has a handful of Premier League games under his belt – spoke with maturity and passion, and pulled no punches on the attitude of some members of the squad.

He said: "We need more heart, we need more desire.

"We need bigger characters on the pitch, players who care and who are going to get after each other."

Newcastle fans were quick to defend the centre-back and you can read the best Twitter reaction here:
Meanwhile, Jonjo Shelvey’s captaincy at Newcastle United has come under scrutiny in the wake of the club’s abject defeat at Southampton.

Shelvey - who has struggled for form away from home - failed to inspire his team.

And the £12million summer signing, handed the captain’s armband in the absence through injury of club skipper Fabricio Coloccini, refused to speak after the game.

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