Eddie Howe praises Jamaal Lascelles despite barely playing for Newcastle
Eddie Howe praises Jamaal Lascelles despite barely playing for Newcastle
Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Eddie Howe praises Jamaal Lascelles despite barely playing for Newcastle

Eddie Howe believes Jamaal Lascelles has been ‘exemplary’ for Newcastle United this season, despite making just five appearances in all competitions.

The 28-year-old has been limited to two starts this season. He was forced off with injury in the 2-1 League Cup win over Tranmere, while he performed well in the 2-1 loss to Liverpool – Newcastle’s only defeat of the season.

Other than those two games, Lascelles has been forced to watch on from the bench. In his absence, the Magpies have the best defensive record in the Premier League. And at centre-back, Fabian Schar is building an excellent partnership with summer signing Sven Botman.

Lascelles is a long way away from being a first-team regular for Newcastle, and Howe has admitted that his captain will be disappointed with his lack of minutes. However, he took time to praise the defender’s attitude and application on the training ground.

Howe on Lascelles’ impact

Ahead of the game against Southampton, Howe spoke at his pre-match press conference. He was asked about Lascelles, and had some kind words to say about the skipper.

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

“He has been and will be our leader,” Howe said.

“He hasn’t been on the pitch as much as he probably would have liked but his status in the group, everyone looks to him as captain. His work-rate and training standards have been exemplary.”

Lascelles still leading off the pitch

While he isn’t a regular in the starting XI anymore, Lascelles is still the Newcastle United captain. There was some noise from supporters that he should be replaced by Kieran Trippier at the start of the season.

However, that did not happen, and it was absolutely the right decision. Taking the armband off of Lascelles would have created an unnecessary distraction, and potentially caused unrest behind the scenes.

And while he hasn’t been playing, Lascelles stature among the group as remained the same according to the manager.

He clearly still commands respect, and Trippier showed exactly that in the 4-0 win over Aston Villa. When Lascelles came on late to replace Schar, the England international quickly ran over to put the armband on him.

It was a classy act by Trippier, who has led the side in every Premier League game so far this season. But he knows that Lascelles is top of the leadership tree.

It’s excellent to hear that the centre-back is still an ‘exemplary’ trainer. Not playing has not changed his attitude, and he is still someone for players to look up to at the training ground.

Lascelles will want to play more, and there may come a time that he seeks a move away from Newcastle to get the minutes he needs. But for now he has a clear role at St James’ Park, and leads by example despite not being on the pitch.