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Lascelles wants Newcastle to remain level-headed during tricky start to 2019

Lascelles wants Newcastle to remain level-headed during tricky start to 2019
© Reuters
The Magpies face a resurgent Manchester United on Wednesday evening.

Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles will take a leaf from manager Rafael Benitez's book as he contemplates a daunting start to 2019 against in-form Manchester United.

During his time on Tyneside, which has encompassed a failed survival fight, a Sky Bet Championship title charge and a top-10 Premier League finish, Benitez has remained calm amid the chaos around him.

He and his players will head into January sitting just three points above the drop zone and face a tricky run of fixtures which could see their advantage quickly evaporate, but Lascelles has insisted there will be no panic within the dressing room.

He said: "There have been positives in 2018. It is important not to get too low or too high. We have to try to stay level-headed.

"There is expectation here for the players but we have to step out on that pitch and perform. That's our job.

"Any point we get will be well-earned. The team we have here has good team chemistry and we will do anything for this club.

"That shows in the games so we will keep trying next year."

Newcastle will resume action on Wednesday evening against a United side revitalised under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and know they will have to be at their very best if they are to put the brakes on the visitors, who have scored 12 goals in the three games they have played under the Norwegian.

The Magpies led 2-0 at Old Trafford in October before the Red Devils launched a comeback which saw Alexis Sanchez snatch victory at the death to give then manager Jose Mourinho what proved to be a temporary stay of execution.

Fulham and Burnley both boosted their survival hopes with victories over the weekend and with several teams down at the foot of the table meeting over the holiday period, Benitez knows how quickly the picture could change.

He said: "Someone has to win some of these games, you know it will be tough. The target will be at the end of January if we are out of the bottom three, then that will be good news."


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416

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