Lascelles already looking to next season
Written by Dan King
After a "relentless" but ultimately successful campaign, Jamaal Lascelles admits he's glad of the opportunity to recharge his batteries this summer.
But the Newcastle United captain has promised that he and the rest of the team will be "ready" when they report for pre-season at the beginning of July, ahead of the club's return to the Premier League.
Lascelles missed the final two games of the season after undergoing a groin operation, and had been playing through the pain barrier for some time before that.
But after Rafa Benítez's side clinched the Sky Bet Championship title in dramatic fashion nearly two weeks ago, they can now relax - and reflect on a job well done - for the next few weeks.
"Hands down, it was the best moment of my career, lifting that trophy," Lascelles told NUFC TV.
"It's been a tough season, a lot of ups and downs, but that's football for you. We got the job done; we know we have to work hard for next season, and we'll sort that out as well.
"We'll chill for a bit and see our families, because it's been relentless. We've trained every day, worked hard, we've carried knocks, injuries, so we'll chill - but we'll be ready for pre-season."
United pipped Brighton & Hove Albion to the title by a single point on the final day of the campaign, thanks to a 3-0 win over Barnsley at St. James' Park coupled with the Seagulls conceding a late goal against ten-man Aston Villa.
Reflecting on the achievement, Lascelles said: "We couldn't have done it a better way. We played excellent, and then came the late equaliser down at Villa. The roar we heard was unbelievable.
"I want to say thank you to the fans. They stuck with us all season and I'm glad we could give them back what they deserve."
"We've trained every day, worked hard, we've carried knocks, injuries, so we'll chill - but we'll be ready for pre-season."