It's been a year of contrasting fortunes to say the least for Newcastle United, but for Jamaal Lascelles, it has been the year he will probably remember more fondly than any other.
The 23-year-old was entrusted with the armband by Rafa Benitez when he took over and the skipper wants to lead his side to two more wins before 2017 arrives.
Despite a mini-slump earlier in the month, Newcastle currently sit top of the Championship table, one point ahead of Brighton and Hove Albion and nine points ahead of Reading in third place. Lascelles is hoping his team can produce two more wins against Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest to extend the Magpies' lead at the summit.
Speaking this week, Lascelles spoke of his pride at Newcastle getting their form back on track, "It’s always nice for the fans. We had a little blip and a little kick up the backside from the manager," before adding "We’re back on form now and hopefully we can carry that on."
Newcastle ensured fans could celebrate Christmas at the top of the table with a win at the Pirelli Stadium against Burton Albion last weekend. Lascelles had a fantastic game at centre half with defensive partner Ciaran Clark.
Discussing the win, Lascelles said "We were narrow and compact, and our holding midfielders were challenging for balls and the two centre-halves were getting the flick ons."
"Our talent came through by the end with our goals," added Lascelles. "Credit to the boys but we now rest up and prepare for the next game."
Newcastle now head into a busy set of fixtures before some senior players head off to the African Cup of Nations.