Toon Skipper Hails His Fighting Squad

Last updated : 02 March 2018 By Footy Mad - Editor

Rafa Benitez was unable to make any big-money buys after guiding the club to promotion last summer. And the club signed three loan players in January’s transfer window as rivals spent tens of millions of pounds on new players.

However, Lascelles doesn’t think money can buy what Benitez has at Newcastle.

“There was a lot of umming and ahhing about us not signing a lot of players, but we all played in the Championship last season and a lot of these lads had played in the Premier League in the past,” said the defender.

“So, for me, I knew that my team had what it takes individually and collectively to survive.

“When we cross that white line, we all work for each other. When we do, we’re as strong as anyone.

“Our main strength has been the fact we’ve not been like others who can buy £25million players.

“We can’t do that, so we have to be stronger in other areas. As a team, we’re together.

“Every player gives absolutely everything when they cross the line with the shirt on their back.”

Lascelles was appointed captain by Benitez in the summer of 2016 following the departure of Fabricio Coloccini. And the 24-year-old says he “gets” what the club is about.

“I get it,” said Lascelles. “The people in the city are so passionate about the club. I have no doubt we have the best fans in the land.

“I do feel it. As a player, I feel like the onus is on me and us as a team to give our all.

“They’re not asking for some crazy skill all the time. What they want is hard work.

“That’s the least we can give. If results come with that, then we’re over the moon.”

Lascelles and team-mate Matt Ritchie were joint-winners of the North East Football Writers’ Association’s Player of the Year award for 2017.

“It’s a huge honour,” said Lascelles.

“I couldn’t have received this honour if my team-mates were not doing their jobs.

“It helps when the whole team’s doing well, and obviously promotion was massive for us.

“On a personal note, it’s a huge honour for me, especially when the likes of Alan Shearer and Kevin Keegan have won the award and now I’m on that list.”