EVEN if there is uncertainty surrounding the future ownership of Newcastle United, Jamaal Lascelles thinks that regardless of any takeover talk the players understand the importance of the next three games.

Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw at Everton has heartened supporters again after last weekend’s 3-0 defeat at home to West Ham United and now attention within the squad has turned to a crucial few matches in the run up to Christmas.

After Sunday’s visit of Wolves, who beat Chelsea in midweek, Newcastle face two relegation contenders in Huddersfield and Fulham. Positive outcomes from those fixtures could see Newcastle climb up towards the top ten before the Boxing Day trip to Liverpool.

Lascelles said: "The next three are massive. We have Wolves, Huddersfield and Fulham, so we really need to get our heads down and get as many points as possible because that could be so crucial come our points total towards the end of the season. We need to rest up and get ourselves ready for that.

"The character in this team is huge. There's immense disappointment from what happened last weekend, but we just need to forget about that loss, think about how we could have stopped it happening, and at the same time look forward to the game.

"We're working hard in training, looking at how Wolves play, and we'll make sure we get more points on the board as soon as we can. The more points we can get over the next few weeks, the better it will be for our season as a whole.”

Newcastle have lost just one of their last five games, form which has seen them climb up from bottom of the Premier League and to four points clear of the relegation zone.

Lascelles said: "We've had a difficult start to the season, but I can't stress enough that the first win of the campaign was when our season really started.

"It took us a while to get it but, once we got it, we've started to pick up points here and there, and we need to keep doing that.

"We need to try to build momentum and not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet."

Mike Ashley, the Newcastle owner, has spoken of the need for the team to show some good form in the hope of persuading potential buyers of the club to follow their interest up. Peter Kenyon, the former Manchester United chief executive, is leading the consortium most serious about a takeover at this stage.

Lascelles said: "We're just concentrating on our football, that's it. We're just focused on Wolves now."

The former Nottingham Forest defender was back in the team at Everton on Wednesday after a little more than a month on the sidelines through injury. After a shaky start he improved and looked solid after the restart.

Regardless of whether Benitez switches back to a back four against Wolves, Lascelles looks set to stay in the team because of a suspension for Fabian Schar after collecting his fifth caution.

Lascelles said: "It wasn't too bad an injury. As players, you're going to get knocks here and there, but the physios have done a good job to get me back and playing as quickly as possible. Now it's about really building my match fitness and pushing on.

"There's loads of competition in my area of the pitch and it's so important that we have that because it pushes ourselves to train harder and try to keep your spot.

"The boys who have filled in have done fantastic. Schar has stepped in when I've not been playing and he's got us some points on the board.

"That's exactly what it's about; it's about our squad as a whole, and not just about the first XI.

"It's a long season, we'll have knocks now and again, so we need players to be ready for when they're called upon. A few have stepped in recently and done fantastically well, so it's more for the manager to think about selection wise."

And he believes Newcastle showed exactly what they are made up in terms of spirit after bouncing back from the Hammers defeat by holding the Toffees at Goodison Park.

Lascelles said: "It's huge to have responded like we did. It just shows the character in the team. Last weekend we lost 3-0 at home, but we've bounced back and got a point away from home against a very good team.

"All that is down to is character, and that's what we showed. Even when they equalised, we kept at it and saw it through.

"In the past, we may have let the other team come on strong after that, but it didn't happen. We stuck at it, we stifled their quality and we were unlucky not to get the three points."