Jamal Lascelles described the “goosebumps” moment when Amanda Staveley called him to confirm a Newcastle takeover, after he needed to double-check her identity because he hadn’t saved her in his phone.
speaks exclusively to Sky Sports News For the first time since the takeover – with support from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – the Newcastle captain says the team is surprised by what happened but is “excited” to prove themselves.
Lascelles met Staveli and her partner and husband Mehrdad Qudoussi at Newcastle’s training ground on Monday but his first interaction with Staveley was a surprise phone call 30 minutes before the announcement last Thursday.
“I was sitting at home with my kids and my partner and my phone rang. It was Amanda. I was like ‘Amanda who?’ ” Tell Sky Sports News.
“I didn’t have her number memorized. Then she was like ‘Amanda Staffeli.’ So she ran into the other room and just introduced herself and said ‘As captain, I just wanted to tell you the takeover is going to happen in 30 minutes, looking forward to getting started.’ It was great.”
“I really appreciate it. It made me feel involved. I got goosebumps.
“Then they came on Monday and showed their appreciation, which is great. They seemed like real, real people and wanted to build a relationship and connect with us, which I think is very important.”
Lascelles and his teammates were in “the blues” after losing to Wolverhampton in their last game before the international break, and insist the players have no illusions that they are not playing for their future at St James. park.
The captain also has sympathy for manager Steve Bruce, who was expected to be replaced this week but remains in charge of visiting Tottenham on Sunday, live. Sky Sports Premier LeagueBut he hopes the uncertainty will be a motivating factor.
“I think there’s a little bit of uncertainty among the boys, but we take it as positive; to make an impact, to impress,” Lascelles said.
“As people, we’re all guilty of stepping into our comfort zones and repetition, but when you get such ambitious owners saying they’ll do this and that, we know it’s a huge opportunity.
“Since I’ve been here, possession is pretty much everything anyone in town has been talking about. Now it’s finally happening and it’s great for people. They want to see their team push for trophies, not just swing and survive every year.”
“This mental shift gives us the added drive to impress everyone – everyone is playing for the future – and matches the ambition. We all want to be a part of it and hopefully it will give us an extra edge to get a result on Sunday.”