Jonjo Shelvey was like a man possessed on Saturday, his drive and determination a world away from what we saw after his opening couple of home performances after he arrived at Newcastle last season.
The midfielder was involved all over the pitch and it was his committed run late in the game which ended up with Dwight Gayle completing his hat-trick, after Shelvey cut the ball back.
The former Liverpool player revealed Dwight Gayle’s (first) goals target, saying that he knows the number nine wants to get to 20 as quickly as possible.
At his current rate of 16 goals in 15 Championship starts, it shouldn’t be long in coming IF Newcastle play like they did against Birmingham.
Jonjo Shelvey says that even though he felt that Henri (the cheat) Lansbury got him sent off unfairly in the previous match, he still felt he did ‘owe’ it to the other players and fans to make sure the team bounced back with a win.
Shelvey says that by simply showing the right level of determination and following Rafa Benitez’ clear orders, it was always going to pay off.
With a misconduct hearing reported to be happening before Christmas, Newcastle fans will potentially then find out whether United can put in a display like yesterday’s without their playmaker.
Fingers crossed though it doesn’t come to that, as clearly with Shelvey things are a lot easier.
Jonjo Shelvey talking to the official club website:
“If we turn up (at Wigan) expecting to win because we’re Newcastle United, it isn’t going to happen. We have to put as much effort into every game as we did today (v Birmingham)
“We thoroughly deserved to win. We dominated the game throughout. It was important just to get back to winning ways, obviously we’re happy to have done that but obviously the job is not done yet.
“We need to go and carry it on into Wednesday.
“To win 4-0, you have to do things right.
“We have been working all week, we’ve had a game-plan from the get-go and we have stuck to it. We’ve listened to the gaffer, and it’s paid off in the end.
“Last week, I felt that I didn’t deserve to be sent off to be honest with you.
“I thought the boy made a meal of it but it is what it is. Obviously, I still felt like I’d let the team down because we ended up losing the game.
“I felt that I needed to go out there and owe one to the team and owe one to the fans, I think that I have done that today and repaid them.
“Dwight gets lucky to be honest…No, it can’t be luck if he is in the right place at the right time.
“I know he’s looking to get to 20 as soon as possible and that’s what all forwards want to do.
“He just knows where the back of the net is and he could have had another one today as well. Fair play to him.”