Newcastle United coach reveals what Acraf Lazaar must do to get back into first team
Newcastle United Under-23s coach Ben Dawson feels that Achraf Lazaar needs to be playing on a regular basis before being considered for a first-team place.
The Moroccan international played for 80 minutes as Dawson’s side made it seven wins in their last nine games with a 3-2 win against Stoke City thanks to a brace from Callum Roberts and a late winner from in-form Elias Sorensen.
Lazaar had been replaced by Adam Wilson by the time Sorensen had fired home his 16th goal of the season and Dawson believes that the former Palermo left-back should follow the example of two of his younger team-mates to get himself into Rafa Benitez’s first-team plans.
He said: “It was important for him to get some minutes because it’s been a while since he last played.
“He is keen to get on the pitch, but we have stressed the importance that he needs to do it in training, which is only fair because that’s what the rest of the lads have to do.
“He has responded well, he got through 80 minutes tonight and everyone is back in tomorrow morning.
“I have said before that when you aren’t playing consistently you sometimes struggle for that little bit.
“You are just a yard off, not in terms of quickness, but that perception.
“The reason Cal (Roberts) and Elias (Sorensen) are getting so much success is because they are playing regularly.
“You find with that consistency you start to perform better.”
Roberts got the Magpies youngsters back on level-terms on the stroke of half-time after Tyrese Campbell had put the visitors ahead midway through the first-half.
The Potters went back in front on 68 minutes with a neat header from midfielder Mark Waddington, but it was all about United from that point.
Parity was restored just two minutes later as Roberts grabbed his second of the night with a fine individual goal and the comeback was complete when Elias Sorensen continued his red-hot form with a blistering shot that flew past Gyollai after a slight touch off a Potters defender.