Jamaal Lascelles says he’s not even contemplating the thought of relegation and he’s sure Newcastle will stay up this season.
The 24-year-old defender committed his future to the club until 2024 on Thursday when he signed an improved contract and, despite the Magpies’ dismal winless start to the season, he is extremely confident they are good enough to avoid the drop.
He said: “No. We’re not going to get relegated at all, it’s not happening.”
Lascelles insists the uncertainty over boss Rafael Benitez’s long-term future has not unsettled the dressing room at Newcastle.
He added: “I don’t really sense that. All I sense is we’re a group of players, this is what we’ve got, this is the manager we’ve got, this is the owner we’ve got, we’ve got to get on with it. We need to get on with it as players.
“Me personally, as long as he [Benitez] is here, Newcastle will keep going up and up. Having worked under him, to be honest I didn’t know there was uncertainty about him not being here.”
Benitez has declined to put pen to paper after failing to get assurances that the club shares his ambition, while owner Mike Ashley refused to sanction significant summer spending while the dotted line remained blank.
In the meantime, the Magpies have stumbled through the first 11 games of the new season without winning any of them, simply increasing the frustrations of fans who have been in open revolt for much of the Sports Direct tycoon’s reign.
However, Lascelles said: “When you’ve got the manager and the staff together, and then you’ve got Mike by himself and then you’ve got the fans against Mike and then you’ve got the media putting stories in, it’s just a big mess.
“If it was one without different little cliques, I do think we would be a much better club, and all the negativity and bad energy, we could change that.”