Captain Jamaal Lascelles has spoken out ahead of this weekend’s clash with Sheffield United at St James’ Park, insisting that the entire NUFC squad are fit, motivated and ‘raring to go’.
We are currently eight points above the drop zone but unlike others in our position we have a lot to play for, with a huge clash with Man City in the FA Cup quarter-final a week on Sunday.
There’s Premier League matters to attend to first, however, and the skipper seems adamant we are in great shape physically and mentally ahead of Sunday’s game:
“I was always completely motivated to get back to playing and back to finish the last nine games and the FA Cup.
“The training ground has been safe as anything and people have been tested three times a week.
“I don’t have any issues. It was amazing to get back to the training ground, it was a long time to go without football.
“Seeing different faces was good too.
“The squad are all fit and raring to go.
“We’re working hard and nobody wants to lose in any runs or anything so the competitive edge is there.
“I just think we’ve really been in good shape.”
Some supporters are concerned that the threat of relegation could still loom large if players were to get complacent, but that would be an unlikely cause while characters like Jamaal Lascelles are in the dressing room.
Other long-serving figures such as Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Ritchie and Paul Dummett are vocal leaders within the group so we should remain confident that they will steer us to safety from now until the end of the season, despite the 8-point gap that currently exists.
After all, the last thing we need is for our league form to scupper any potential takeover plans!