Jamaal Lascelles believes any team in the Premier League will find it tough against Newcastle United at a packed St James’s Park

Jamaal Lascelles
Jamaal Lascelles

Captain Jamaal Lascelles believes any team in the Premier League will find it tough against Newcastle United on current form, especially at a packed St James’s Park.

Mark Hughes’ Stoke City travel to Tyneside this weekend looking to clip the Magpies wings, after two morale-boosting United wins at home to West Ham then again on Sunday at Swansea City.

Lascelles accepts the top flight is no walk in the park and a massive step up from the Championship, but he thinks the momentum is with United at present.

And with that in mind, the skipper says nothing less than three points for Rafa Benitez’s men will do.

“It is going to be a good test – every game this season will be that way. It’s not the like the Championship,” said Lascelles.

“But they are at our place, in front of our fans and I think the way we are playing at the minute anyone will find it hard against us.

“These (Swansea) are the type of games we need to be winning. We have Stoke at our place next and that is also the type of game where we need to put on a performance and take the three points aswell.”

At the Liberty Stadium the scoreline flattered the Swans somewhat, with United in control for much of the 90.

Lascelles believes the players have no set the benchmark, of which they are keen not to drop below.

“We have set our standard now. We need to maintain and improve,” he said.

“If we keep working on things in training, listening to the boss and making sure we improve we will have a good season.

“The clean sheet pleases me even more than the goal.

“That’s two in a row now and we need to keep it going.”

Meanwhile, first-team coach Francisco de Miguel Moreno, who has again handed duties back to Rafa Benitez this week after taking centre stage at Swansea, has praised the character of Lascelles.

He said: “He is the main person right now. He is doing an amazing, fantastic job. We are very happy to have a man like him in the team, managing his role like he does.”