Newcastle United Boss Hails Jamaal Lascelles' Performance

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez praised the performance of skipper Jamaal Lascelles during the Magpies' 3-2 win over West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday. The victory was the club's first in two months, and this has propelled them to to 15th in the Premier League standings.

Ex-Magpies striker Carroll was brought on by West Ham at the half-hour mark, and though the backline initially struggled to cope with the striker's physique, Benitez was pleased with how Lascelles restricted the England international from scoring.

Speaking after the game, Benitez felt that Newcastle needed 'four or five' players of Lascelles' calibre owing to the height possessed in the Hammers' ranks. Nevertheless, he was pleased to see through a much-needed win, which sees them two points ahead of the relegation zone.

He said: "The problem is we needed four or five players like him, because West Ham kept putting the ball in the box. They're massive. It's not easy, and especially when they have so many big lads. We needed to be strong physically, and we did very well with that. You have to defend and be good on the ball. A lot of positives that we were doing before, and we did them a little bit better. To stop Andy Carroll in the air isn't easy. The main thing was Lascelles to keep challenging him and his team-mates also fighting for every single ball."

Benitez had received stick from the fans prior to the game after he picked the likes of Henri Saivet and Mohamed Diame in the line-up, but his selection was justified as the pair contributed to the Magpies long wait for a victory. Goalscoring has been a concern for the Tynesiders since the start of the season, and scoring thrice on the road against an in-form West Ham side, will have undoubtedly pleased the faithful, who are likely to have grown restless owing to issues on and off the field.