independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Shelvey backs Swans for home wins

Jonjo Shelvey was on fine form for Swansea against Newcastle in midweek

Jonjo Shelvey has called on Swansea to turn the Liberty Stadium into a fortress as they prepare to face Hull on Monday.

The Swans claimed just their second home win of the season against Newcastle on Wednesday, with Shelvey turning in a man-of-the-match performance.

The result improved a run of just one home league win in 11 attempts since the beginning of March, which was in stark contrast to Swansea's home form during their first two seasons in the Premier League.

Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool have all dropped points in their visits to south Wales during that time.

And with another home fixture against Hull looming on the horizon, Shelvey feels it is time to again make the Liberty Stadium a place for opponents to fear.

"We needed the three points against Newcastle, and we need to keep pushing up the league," said the former Liverpool midfielder.

"The more we turn this place into a fortress and get the points then it takes the pressure away when we go away to the bigger teams.

"It's never been difficult for me to play here. The fans have been first class for me. Every time I've played they have been superb and hopefully we can kick on at home starting on Monday."

Shelvey excelled when Swansea were forced to play without a recognised striker against the Magpies after Alvaro Vazquez joined Michu and Wilfried Bony on the sidelines.

The England Under-21 cap struck up a good understanding with Alejandro Pozuelo and enjoyed the experience, but is hopeful at least one of Swansea's injured trio will be available for Monday's meeting.

He said: "I was thinking when Alvaro went off, 'Who is going to go up front?'

"The manager called us over and said for me and Alex (Pozuelo) to keep making runs in behind them.

"That's where the second goal came from.

"But I don't know what we are going to do for Monday. I'm not sure if we will have anyone fit. I think there is a chance Bony may be fit.

"But, at the end of the day, whoever plays, we just need to keep playing and getting three points."

Shelvey's long-distance strike against Newcastle was his second in three games, following his winner at Fulham.

But the 21-year-old is more worried about performing well enough to convince Michael Laudrup to keep him in his Swansea team.

"The main thing is to keep myself in the team. If the gaffer keeps picking me then it's down to me to show him why I should be in the team.

"I'd take any goal. It doesn't matter if it's a tap-in or a 40-yard strike. A goal is a goal and helps the team."

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