Steve Bruce explains decision to bench Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles

Steve Bruce has explained his decision to leave Jamaal Lascelles out of the Newcastle United team that lost 4-2 to West Ham on Sunday.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 6:00 am

The Magpies captain, along with Fabian Schar, was an unused substitute against the Hammers with Emil Krafth handed a surprise start instead.

Lascelles watched on as his teammates shipped three second-half goals having led 2-1 at half-time.

Bruce missed the presence of his captain in the backline but felt he had no choice but to leave him out due to his fitness levels.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles was on the bench for the defeat to West Ham. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Lascelles missed the remaining eight games of last season after undergoing surgery on his foot.

"Jamaal has had a difficult pre-season," Bruce said. “He’s just getting over an operation and obviously he needs minutes.

“It’s been a toil for him, which is understandable. I just thought, physically wise, that was the best bet.

“With another week, or ten days or so of training, hopefully we’ll see the return of the captain.”

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Newcastle United coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription; sign up here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor