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Jamaal Lascelles insists Newcastle are not yet in a relegation fight

Written by on 15/12/2017

Newcastle are not yet in a battle for Premier League survival, according to club captain Jamaal Lascelles.

Newcastle’s last league victory was against Crystal Palace almost two months ago, and Wednesday night’s 1-0 defeat at home to Everton was the club’s seventh loss in eight games.

Just one point separates Newcastle from the bottom three ahead of Saturday’s trip to north London to face Arsenal.

Asked if the club are already fighting against relegation, Lascelles said: "No, not yet. A lot of people would probably have been happy with the points we are on if they were asked at the start of the season, so I am not going to say we are in a relegation battle.

"There are still loads of games to play. It’s a long season. We are not looking at that, just taking things game by game."

Newcastle dominated possession against Everton but were undone by a 27th-minute strike by Wayne Rooney, who took his career tally of goals at St James’ Park to nine.

And Lascelles admitted there were some harsh words exchanged by the players in the dressing room after the game.

He said: "There were a few home truths said. I don’t want to leave it too late for things like that to be said.

"The reality is we are not in a great position and sometimes things need to be said that players do not want to hear. Hopefully it will get a reaction."

Newcastle’s recent poor run of results has come amid talk of a takeover led by Amanda Staveley and PCP Capital Partners.

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has continued to maintain that all he and his team can focus on is the football and that view is backed up by his captain.

Lascelles said: "We’re not focusing on that. It has nothing to do with us."

(c) Sky News 2017: Jamaal Lascelles insists Newcastle are not yet in a relegation fight