Newcastle United players need more heart, says Jamaal Lascelles

Newcastle Utd - Gate

The defender did not hold back in his criticism of his teammates.

Newcastle United’s players need to take full responsibility for the situation they find themselves in, defender Jamaal Lascelles has told BBC Radio 5 Live 606.

The Magpies are currently 19th in the table and six points from safety following Saturday’s loss to Southampton.

Relegation is looking very likely with just six games remaining for them, unless there is a drastic turnaround in the form they have have shown this season.

Their campaign has already cost Steve McClaren his job, with Rafa Benitez brought in as his replacement, although so far the Spaniard has failed to turn things around.

And Lascelles has insisted it is the players who are to blame, saying they need to play with more heart and desire than they have shown.

“It’s the players and we have to take full responsibility,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live 606.

“It’s ourselves who need to change it and not the manager. We need to play with more heart. We’ve got flair players, tricky players, players with loads of talent.

“But 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.”

While Lascelles; comments are certainly true about the side, a bigger issue was Newcastle’s failure to strengthen the defence in the last two transfer windows.

As the Magpies focused on improving the attacking aspects of their side, the defence was neglected and has arguably been their major downfall this season.

With 61 goals now conceded, more than in the whole of the previous campaign, there is no denying that in hindsight Newcastle should have instead focused on that area of the team, especially in January.

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