Newcastle defender Jamaal Lascelles outlines his ambitions for the season

The centre-back is determined to kick on this season after finally making his debut.

Newcastle defender Jamaal Lascelles has spoken of his determination to make a breakthrough this season, in an interview with the Shields Gazette.

The 21-year old made his long-awaited Magpies debut last month against Northampton Town, after spending last season on loan at Nottingham Forest, and he now hopes to push on and establish himself in Steve McClaren’s set-up.

“The staff haven’t set me any targets, but I have my own personal ones,” said Lascelles.

“I just want to be doing the best I can and hopefully be playing… We have great competition at centre-half with the likes of Coloccini, Taylor and Williamson, but if I work hard, then hopefully I can play.”

Lascelles explained his approach on the training ground and says he is learning from Newcastle’s more senior centre-backs.

“I watch not just Coloccini, but the others – Taylor, Williamson. I watch them really closely in training,” he added.

“I’m the youngest, so experience-wise they might have the edge on me, so it’s really important for me to watch what they do and see how they are around the place.

“It’s really beneficial for me as I’ve only played two full seasons at Nottingham Forest.”

Centre-back has been an area of concern for the Magpies in recent seasons but the summer signing of Chancel Mbemba has added some welcome depth.

The former Anderlecht man has formed the basis of a solid partnership with Fabricio Coloccini already, and Lascelles faces a tough task to dislodge either player.

Coloccini is well into the twilight of his career however, and Lascelles is well positioned to be moulded into his successor in the coming years.

A future pairing of Mbemba and Lascelles is a potent mix of pace and power on paper, but it remains to be seen whether the next few seasons pan out as such.

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