Skipper seeking home comforts after disappointing draw
Written by Rory Mitchinson
Jamaal Lascelles has acknowledged that Newcastle United must improve their form at St. James’ Park in the second half of the campaign.
The Magpies failed to break down basement side Fulham on Saturday afternoon, playing out a dour stalemate in their final home outing of 2018.
Rafa Benítez’s side could even have suffered a humbling defeat late on, but skipper Lascelles twice came to the rescue, getting in the way of former United forward Aleksandar Mitrović’s goalbound effort before sliding in to dispossess Aboubakar Kamara with the Frenchman about to take aim.
Newcastle have won just twice in ten Premier League outings at St. James’ Park this term, a record that Lascelles insists they must put right – starting against Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Manchester United on 2nd January.
“I’m not sure what it is, but it’s definitely something we’re looking to improve in the second half of the season. We have to pick up on our home form and we have to do that soon,” he told nufc.co.uk. “No disrespect to Fulham, but leading up to the game we were confident and positive we’d get the three points, especially after the way we played against Huddersfield. It was about trying to build that momentum, but in fairness to them they were quite hard to break down. They had a lot of bodies behind the ball and it was quite similar to a Championship game in that respect, where we were on the front foot and they were sat back behind it. But it’s another point, and another step in the right direction.
“We kind of killed ourselves (at the end) – they didn’t really hurt us by good play, we were giving them chances. But that’s what defenders are there for. I was in the right position on two occasions and managed to put my foot in or get the block in. Overall, I thought the team worked hard. We kept going until the final whistle and we were the better team. But, to be fair, we didn’t create many chances, and we need to look at how we can open up teams like that more.”
"I’m not sure what it is, but it’s definitely something we’re looking to improve in the second half of the season. We have to pick up on our home form and we have to do that soon."