Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I'm Staying Here in Toon, Says Jonjo - but I Want to Play; NO BUST-UP WITH BENITEZ BUT SHELVEY HAS BEEN 'VERY DOWN'

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I'm Staying Here in Toon, Says Jonjo - but I Want to Play; NO BUST-UP WITH BENITEZ BUT SHELVEY HAS BEEN 'VERY DOWN'

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER Chief Newcastle writer lee.ryder@reachplc.com @lee_ryder

JONJO Shelvey has broken his silence after a long stint on the sidelines with Newcastle United.

The former Liverpool man made his first Premier League start since November in the Magpies' 1-1 draw at Brighton and was shocked to be handed the captain's armband.

In his first big interview since returning to the limelight, Shelvey cleared his mind and revealed: | HE has not had a bustup with Rafa Benitez. |HE still sees his future on Tyneside - providing he has a chance to perform.

|WHY he has stayed quiet and turned down interview requests.

| HIS head has not been turned by West Ham or any other club.

|HIS absence from the team left him feeling low as United went on a fantastic run of results.

Shelvey put in an excellent display in midfield against the Seagulls before coming off in the closing stages.

He later returned to the field to applaud the Toon Army who got behind him on the south coast.

Afterwards he told the Chronicle: "My head has not been turned. I have always remained focused.

"Don't get me wrong - I have been very, very down because you want to play football.

"You can take all the money away because at the end of the day all you want to do is play football.

"There is nothing worse than a footballer training all week and then not playing at the end of it. It hurts you.

"You see the lads smiling and running around and you don't feel part of it.

"You have to stick by it and stick with the team and eventually your time will come."

Shelvey's career has been written off by some observers and West Ham have been continuously linked with a summer move.

Shelvey hit back and said: "People can talk all they want. I am not one to listen to what people say.

"People say I have had rows with Rafa and things like that. …

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