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Lascelles takes confidence from Rafa’s faith in him

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Newcastle defender Jamaal Lascelles has credited manager Rafa Benitez for giving him a chance in the first team at the end of last season.

The 22 year old was used sparingly by previous boss Steve McClaren before he was sacked in March but Lascelles believes the faith that Benitez has shown in him has helped him to develop as a player and grow as a person. He is quoted by the Shields Gazette as saying:

“For me, a 22-year-old lad, it’s massive for a manager such as Rafa Benitez to show such belief in you. It builds your confidence when he’s giving you praise and he trusts you in massive games. It really does build confidence. It develops you as a player and turns you into a man. I’ve got a lot of respect for him for doing that. Hopefully, next season we can have the same attitude that we had when we ended the last one.”

With the departure of experienced centre halves Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor from the club, Lascelles will have to take on greater responsibility at the back next season. The former Nottingham Forest defender’s development under Benitez has been very promising and he will be hoping to establish himself as a first team regular in the Championship. Along with Chancel Mbemba, the young pair were first choice under Rafa by the end of the Premier League season, but they may face competition for their places if, as expected, Benitez brings in more defensive cover.

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