Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has urged his captain Jamaal Lascelles to remain focused on the task at hand, with praise coming in from everywhere as of recently.
The defender, who will be the first to admit that he still has a lot to learn, has been one of the Magpies' best performers this season, heavily influencing their three consecutive wins under the tutelage of the Spanish boss.
Benitez has revealed that he has spoken to the player regarding the many plaudits, asking him not to lose sight of the goal, given the risks that come with receiving high praise.
“I did it with him, but I’ve done this with some players. When you are doing really well, I say to them it’s important to concentrate on their jobs,” he said (via Chronicle Live), opening up on a conversation with Lascelles ahead of the team's trip to Brighton on the weekend.
“If they are doing well, what they have to do is keep doing the same things.
“I have years of experience. It’s the most difficult thing. You are doing well and everyone is praising you and praising you, sometimes if you are young you lose your focus.
“It’s to remind them that this is the way to continue being praised.
“I had another conversation with him and another player [on Thursday]. We were talking about commitment and hard work and all these things.
“He’s happy with this approach. It’s quite easy for me to tell him, ‘You have to keep working hard’, because he was doing it anyway.“We’re trying to improve other things in his game, but in terms of this - his mentality and character - he’s fine.
“He’s someone that has the potential and has to keep working the same way that he’s working and he will improve.
“How much will he improve? I don’t know. But he has the potential and that’s quite positive. He’s a big lad and has a lot of attributes [needed] to be successful in the Premier League.
“But he’s still a young player.”