Rafa Benitez is set to return to the training ground this morning and he will have Jonjo Shelvey back in his thoughts.

The midfielder was left on the bench on Sunday despite returning from suspension.

Rafa Benitez predictably changed very little, having being absent all week as he recovered from surgery – Gamez came in for the injured Mbemba and the only unforced change was Jacob Murphy given a run out on the left instead of Christian Atsu.

There is the potential this week for the United boss to work on bringing Shelvey back into the team but possibly in a slightly different position/formation – because whilst the team overall did well, some individuals in particular, Ayoze Perez was yet again anonymous in that number 10 role.

Jonjo Shelvey did everything asked of his last night, putting in a committed performance for the Under 23s in front of a sparse 662 spectators at St James Park.

The former Liverpool and Swansea player set the opening goal for Luke Charman on 10 minutes, with then Macauley Gillesphey adding a second only two minutes later.

The highlight of his performance though was probably another long-range special from his own half, only going narrowly wide of the Norwich goal.

Shelvey ended up playing all of the 90 minutes, as after Aarons and Sterry were replaced at half-time, Curtis Good then picked up his latest injury and was forced off in the second-half before Jonjo Shelvey could be subbed as planned.

Definitely a big positive for Rafa Benitez now having a few more options with the likes of Shelvey, Lejeune and Yedlin returning to availability, even if it was just to have them in reserve on the bench on Sunday.

Norwich scored two late goals last night to slightly spoil the, low key, party but for Newcastle fans the main thing was that Jonjo Shelvey got the 90 minutes under his belt and will be that little bit more ready if called upon on Saturday when Stoke visit.

Peter Beardsley:

“It was great for them to have 90 minutes with Jonjo Shelvey.

“We intended to take him off but unfortunately Curtis (Good) got a groin strain.

“In terms of the way he was around the group, he was top class.

“That was a big bonus for them.”

Newcastle United Under 23s 2 Norwich City Under 23s 2

Newcastle United: Woodman; Sterry (O’Connor 46), Good (Yarney 72), Gillesphey, Cameron, Barlaser, Shelvey, Roberts, L Smith, Aarons (Fernandez 46), Charman

  • ghostrider

    Shelvey probably revelled in it, to be fair.
    The good thing is, he’s fit and ready and obviously buoyant, to be fair.
    Peter Beardsley, to be fair, gave a good assessment, to be fair.
    To be fair, he said the experience of having Shelvey there was good for the younger players, to be fair, but, to be fair, he also said that some were a bit in awe of him to be fair…sort of making them a little bit nervous, to be fair.

    • nevfur


      • ghostrider


    • Rich Lawson

      But,to be fair !

  • Steve Pearce

    662 – the size of the crowd at every home game if the fat stinking bag of southern pus forces Rafa to leave….

    • steve

      There would still be 50 thousand.

  • Mrkgw

    I thought that Curtis Good had been released pre-season?

  • Paul Busby

    I watched it on NUFC TV. He was playing with the reserves and whilst he did pretty much run the midfield (as you would expect), the second Norwich started pressing he immediately became ineffective and visibly frustrated. This is exactly the kind of thing that lead to his red card against Spurs.