Jamaal Lascelles has revealed just how Rafa Benitez has helped him become a better captain and man-manager, admitting that he treats him differently to other NUFC players and advises him to act in different ways to different players to provoke the right reaction.
This comes from a snippet shown from the skippers interview with Alan Shearer on the BBC website (an interview that can be seen in full on BBC2 at 10pm tonight!), with Lascelles opening up about his relationship with Benitez and the way he has helped mould him into the captain he is today.
Here’s what he had to say to Shearer about Benitez in a brief clip of his interview with the former NUFC number 9:
“He’s a great manager. I think I’ve improved so much because of him – not just footballing wise, but also my man-management and to make me a better leader,”
“He’s someone I really look up to because of everything he has done.
“Yeah he does treat me a little different to the other players. The other day I didn’t really train very much because me and him were in his office discussing things all session.
“He will tell me to act a certain way, tell the boys to stay positive and get the dressing room going. Even if I do something wrong, even if I’m a bit too harsh on somebody, he’ll be like: ‘Listen, you might not be able to do that to him because of the type of character he is.’
“So he’s taught me how to speak to other people; some people might need a pat on the back, and some people I can have a go at.”
Fascinating stuff from Lascelles, who clearly works closely with Benitez to make sure he is handling each and every member of the NUFC squad in the correct manor.
During tonight’s ‘Premier League Show’, Alan will also be shown interviewing Benitez about the NUFC skipper, and a small clip on the BBC’s website highlights just how complimentary Rafa is of his captain:
“He’s a worker, he wants to improve, he’s pushing the others in a nice way and you can talk and explain things,” Benitez said.
“He can pass the message on very well because his English is better than my English.”
Remember to tune into BBC2 at 10p tonight folks – it should be a great watch!