Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez claims he's pleased with Jamaal Lascelles following defender's rallying cry

St James Park

The defender had a few home truths for the squad as they battle for Premier League survival.

Rafael Benitez has claimed that Jamaal Lascelles' comments that Newcastle United's players needed to show more heart and desire really pleased him, the Shields Gazette reports.

The Magpies go into the final six games of the season second-bottom in the Premier League, six points adrift of safety. And following their defeat to Southampton last weekend, the defender called for the squad to show more guts if they hope to pull themselves out of trouble.

And while the comments could have had a negative impact on the squad, Benitez has insisted that he was happy to hear the 22-year-old's assessment.

"I was really pleased, because he [Lascelles] was saying what everybody is thinking outside," he told the Shields Gazette.

"We know that we have to give everything. We know we have to do better and we know that we have to show character."

Arguably the most impressive thing about Lascelles' statement is the age of the player who made the comments. In comparison with the rest of the squad, the former Nottingham Forest player is still just a youngster and he only made his debut for the club at the start of the season.

So to see him risking the wrath of his teammates shows an extreme amount of resiliency and even courage, which will arguably be needed in abundance if the club are to pull themselves away from danger. 

And Benitez may be pleased with the comments as getting everything out in the open may be what brings the team together and sees them finally bag their first win under the Spaniard.

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