1. ITV Report

Jamaal Lascelles hopeful Joelinton can kick on after ending 20-game goal drought

Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles says Joelinton's goal against Rochdale gave the whole team a lift Credit: PA Images

Newcastle United skipper Jamaal Lascelles is backing £40m striker Joelinton to prove his worth to the team after the Brazilian ended his 20-game wait for a goal.

The 23-year-old Brazilian has found himself under increasing pressure in recent weeks after failing to add to his previous strike, a Premier League winner at Tottenham on August 25.

However, he finally found the back of the net in Tuesday night's 4-1 FA Cup third-round replay victory over League One Rochdale.

His goal, and the ending of that 20-game drought, delighted his team mates.

Lascelles, who was watching on from the sidelines, said it would hopefully light the fuse for more goals.

He said: "You could see everyone's reaction the minute he scored. I was jumping up and nearly went on the pitch!

"He's a really good player and it's tough for him. He's playing up there by himself most games and fighting centre-halves.

"He does do a lot for the team and now he's got a goal. Hopefully it can give him the confidence to start banging in more goals for us."

Joelinton raced to his manager Steve Bruce after scoring against Rochdale Credit: PA Images

Throughout the drought Joelinton has enjoyed the continued support of manager Steve Bruce and the rest of his team mates.

Lascelles said: "That's what probably makes it even harder for us to see him go weeks and weeks and weeks without scoring. You just want him to score."

He's a great professional. He's there and puts in the work at training, is in the gym and keeps his head down and doesn't moan about anything. He genuinely does care and works hard for the club, so I was over the moon for him to get a little relief and hopefully it can boost him for more games to come.

– Jamall Lascelles

It was a relief for Lascelles himself to be back out on the pitch. The club captain had to sit out a frustrating festive period in a crowded treatment room.

However, despite being given 56 minutes on his return to action, he does not yet know if he will be involved in Newcastle's Saturday evening match against Chelsea.

He said: "I have to sit down with the doctor and the gaffer because we do need to be careful with managing players because of all the injuries. I recover fast, so I'm raring to go."

Newcastle's home game against Chelsea kicks off at 5:30pm.