BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks has heaped praise on Newcastle star Jamaal Lascelles after a 1-0 win over Burnley on Saturday.
The defender was named in the BBC Sport Team of the Week for helping the Magpies secure a first win from 14 attempts this season.
Lascelles was in fine form for Eddie Howe’s team. Newcastle breathed life into their survival bid with a massive three points against the Clarets.
There is still work to do for Newcastle. This should, however, give the team the catalyst to start kicking on.
The 28-year-old has become something of a fan favourite during his time at St James’ Park.
He arrived in 2015 from Nottingham Forest and has made 199 appearances for Newcastle, scoring 13 goals.
It was all about the clean sheet at the weekend though and Howe will hope for more shutouts as he looks to lead the Magpies to safety.
Crooks was impressed with Lascelles and picked him in his Team of the Week.
He told BBC Sport: “When you’ve only had two clean sheets at home in the last 30 matches, I think you’re entitled to make a fuss about them whenever they come along.
“Newcastle United’s victory over Burnley was as much about the clean sheet as it was about the 1-0 scoreline.
“It was Fabian Schar’s presence in attack that caused Nick Pope to drop the ball, but it was Jamal Lascelles’ leadership on the field that kept cool heads in a very tense and anxious atmosphere.”
Integral: Captain fantastic Lascelles proves his worth to Newcastle
The defender has been guilty of some errors during the 2021/22 campaign but looking at the current form, who hasn’t?
This was a performance that highlighted his undoubted quality though and showcased his captain material to supporters.
Howe has a big job on his hands this season but ultimately he will need real leaders to poke their heads above the parapet in the coming months.
The £55,000-a-week Lascelles is one of those players who never shirks a challenge and Howe will have learned a lot about his captain.