Danny Murphy questions why Steve McClaren barely played Newcastle's terrific Jamaal Lascelles

Danny Murphy has raved about Newcastle defender Jamaal Lascelles.

Pundit and former England international Danny Murphy has told Match of the Day (30/04/2016) that he has been impressed with Newcastle defender Jamaal Lascelles.

The Magpies are now four games unbeaten under new manager Rafael Benitez, who guided the club to a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.

Andros Townsend was the hero with a superbly-taken free kick, but there were top performances all over the pitch - including from goalkeeper Karl Darlow, who saved a penalty from Yohan Cabaye, whilst defender Jamaal Lascelles also impressed.

Lascelles, 22, signed for Newcastle from Nottingham Forest back in the summer of 2014, but spent all of last season back on loan at the City Ground before joining up with Newcastle last summer.

Unfortunately for the young centre back, he spent much of the season sitting behind Fabricio Coloccini and Chancel Mbemba, with Steve McClaren seemingly unwilling to throw him straight into Premier League action.

However, Lascelles has now become a key part of the Newcastle defence, and fans have taken to his never-say-die attitude and outspoken press conference, with the youngster becoming a symbol of Newcastle's revival under Benitez so far.

After another excellent performance against Palace, pundit Danny Murphy told Match of the Day that he thinks Lascelles has been vital in recent weeks, and loves how much the centre back cares - but questioned just how former boss McClaren used him so sparingly.

"I hadn't seen too much of him, and I think in the last few weeks, he's really come to the fore," said Murphy. "He's athletic and outspoken as well, which I don't mind as it shows that he cares."

"The big question for me is why the hell he wasn't playing earlier, because he really does look like a terrific player," he added, clearly impressed with his performances of late.

What did you think of Lascelles' performance against Crystal Palace?

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