'We only have ourselves to blame': Jamaal Lascelles reacts after Newcastle United lose winter break
Jamaal Lascelles says Newcastle United’s players only have themselves to blame for losing a chunk of their winter break.
Lascelles and his team-mates have a cup reply next week – when then the bulk of the Premier League will be resting.
Newcastle were held to a goalless draw at St James’s Park by Oxford United on Saturday – and they face a replay at the Kassam Stadium next week.
Steve Bruce, United’s head coach, had planned to give his players some time off after Saturday’s Premier League home game against Norwich City.
And Bruce hit out at what he labelled as a “ridiculous situation” after the Oxford game.
Lascelles, Newcastle’s captain, believes the extra game is down to the players given that they didn’t perform against the League One side.
"Everybody was looking forward to it (the break), but it's our job,” said Lascelles. "And we all knew if we didn't perform against Oxford, we'd have to play again.
“We only have ourselves to blame. We now need to go to their place and beat them."
United had Karl Darlow to thank for several second-half save, and Lascelles said: "It's not good enough. Oxford were a well-organised team, and they made it difficult, but, at the same time, we’re a Premier League side, and, at our place, we needed to dictate the pace.
"Oxford needed to have to change to suit our style, but that didn't happen. We tried to pin them into half as the game wore on, but nothing fell for us. We needed one person to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and put the ball into the net – it didn't happen."
Newcastle beat Rochdale 4-1 in a third-round replay after drawing 1-1 at Spotland.
"We didn't plan to have a replay,” said Lascelles, who returned from a cracked tibia this month. "We wanted it to be similar to the Rochdale, keep them in their half, and the minute we lose the ball, press them, but it didn't happen.
"It was probably a little wake-up call for us. They turned up. They rolled their sleeves up and worked hard. If we'd done the same, our quality would have shone through."