Our season starts now, says Lascelles after beating Burnley
Captain Jamaal Lascelles expressed his relief after Newcastle United finally secured their first win of the season against Burnley on Saturday – and declared that “our season starts now”.
Callum Wilson's first half winner handed Eddie Howe's side all three points at St. James' Park, lifting them off the bottom of the Premier League table.
It was Howe's first triumph since his arrival as head coach last month and the Magpies' first in all competitions in 2021/22, with Lascelles' imperious defensive display crucial in securing the victory.
And after, he told nufc.co.uk that the main feeling in the dressing room was one of relief – and insisted that the win must act as a springboard to help propel United up the table.
"Even now, it's just such a relief. We are a group of winners and we expect so much of each other, and we've been going through a real hard time," he said.
"It's just been so frustrating because we know our individual ability and our collective ability. To get that win, it was just such a relief. All that built-up emotion after every single draw or defeat we've had… to then go and win our first game, it was just a relief.
"Our season starts now. We knew we've been miles off it, we haven't been good enough. As a group of players, our season starts now.
"We've got eight days until our next game, but we want to carry on this momentum and have a real good push. We just need to keep that same attitude, mentality and confidence, and then we'll do well."
The centre half was suspended for the 1-1 draw with Norwich City on Tuesday night but was restored to the starting line-up for the visit of Sean Dyche's men.
He responded with arguably his most impressive performance of the campaign so far, and Lascelles believes that the plus points taken from the midweek draw helped his side during their weekend win.
"I think the game the other night helped, in a weird way," he explained. "It just showed us that with ten men, we could put on such a fantastic performance and give absolutely 110 per cent.
"So then we thought to ourselves, 'if we can do that with 10 men… let's do that now (with 11 men) then!' I just think we took a lot of positives from that game the other day.
"It's absolutely huge. We know ourselves from when we've been in tough situations, you get one win and something just clicks. It's like a mentality shift. It brings so much belief and confidence. I think in football, loads of it is to do with your mental confidence. I think we can take a lot from that game – not just the three points, but our mental situation and the confidence going forward."
Burnley piled on the pressure towards the end, with substitute Jay Rodriguez finding the net only to be denied by the offside flag.
Lascelles and his teammates withstood an aerial bombardment at times and came away with a welcome clean sheet.
And the 28-year-old reckons that that maintaining that solidity could be vitally important to Howe's men as they bid to pull away from the drop zone.
"To be fair, they threw everything at us – I don't know how many strikers they had on the pitch – and they were just pumping it forwards," he said.
"But we defended really well. I think with this team, clean sheets will get us a lot of wins because we have so much going forwards.
"Callum's popped up again with a fantastic goal and if we can stay solid like that for other games, we will do well."
"To get that win, it was just such a relief. All that built-up emotion after every single draw or defeat we've had… to then go and win our first game, it was just a relief."