Tuesday 24 April 2018

Swansea's loss will be Newcastle's gain, says new signing Jonjo Shelvey

Newcastle new boy Jonjo Shelvey has vowed to prove Swansea wrong for selling him
Newcastle new boy Jonjo Shelvey has vowed to prove Swansea wrong for selling him

Newcastle new boy Jonjo Shelvey insists he is no bad boy after an ignominious exit from Swansea.

The 23-year-old England international's attitude was questioned as his spell at the Liberty Stadium turned sour, with interim boss Alan Curtis seemingly having decided he was surplus to requirements in the wake of his predecessor Garry Monk's departure.

However, Shelvey, who started only two games in his final two months in south Wales and was involved in a heated exchange with a fan after the second of them, Sunday's FA Cup third-round defeat at Oxford, has vowed to make the Swans pay after sealing a £12million switch to St James' Park.

He said: "I want game time. I was told I didn't suit the style of Swansea's play by the manager. I never once asked to leave, I never came out in an interview to say that.

"It's just that I wasn't going to play, wasn't getting my chance and I needed a new challenge. I was lucky a massive club showed interest in me and I'm a very fortunate boy to be here, and I realise that.

"The Swansea fans got on my back a bit at the end, without knowing what was going on behind the scenes. I was training hard and competing for a place in the team.

"I'd played the majority of games in the season and picked up five bookings - I was suspended and didn't come back. I never got a chance of getting back in the team, so I felt I was a bit hard done by. The fans got on my back and said I had a bad attitude without really knowing what was going on behind the scenes.

"Obviously it is going to be Swansea's loss in the end. I'm just lucky enough to find a club in Newcastle that have shown interest in me."

Shelvey, who is likely to make his debut for the Magpies against West Ham on Saturday, revealed he received the seal of approval for his move from former Newcastle boss Kenny Dalglish, under whom he worked during his time at Liverpool.

He said: "I got a phone call from him last night when I was at the MetroCentre - I didn't realise how big that was either! He said, 'You have got bundles of ability, get yourself right and you will be fine and the fans will love you up there'.

"He has been here and he has done that. What a thing for one of the best players in the world of all time to ring you and say that. It was a big thing for me - it was more of a big thing for my dad.

"It's nice that I am getting people ring me like that, but it is down to me now to kick on."

Meanwhile, head coach Steve McClaren has confirmed that midfielder Cheick Tiote has travelled to China to discuss a proposed move to Shanghai Shenhua.

McClaren said: "There's an approach from a Chinese team and Cheick is currently on his way to meet them.

"There's no agreement, nothing has been finalised, nothing has been agreed, the player is just going out there to have a chat with them and see how that ends up."

As a result, Tiote will not be in the squad for the West Ham game, unlike Florian Thauvin, who is available for selection despite suggestions he could rejoin Marseille on loan after failing to settle on Tyneside.

But Holland international Siem De Jong will be missing for up to two weeks after suffering an eye injury, which required hospital treatment, in training.

Should Shelvey, as expected, get the nod against the Hammers, he will hope to put a difficult period in his career firmly behind him after losing his place at Swansea within months of signing a new four-year contract last summer.

He said: "I couldn't put my finger on it. I was coming home and being down around the house. But at the training ground, I was working hard to get back in the team.

"I'm not one to go knocking on the manager's door. I let my football do the talking. I had players coming up to me surprised and asking, 'What have you done? Why aren't you playing? What's going on?'.

"I honestly couldn't tell them, I couldn't put my finger on it. I was so shocked that I wasn't named in squads.

"I came home one day after I'd been dropped against Manchester City and I was nearly in tears.

"I rang the chairman and asked what was going on. He said he didn't feel that my head was right and that the manager had said that.

"I felt forced out of the club. I never once asked to leave the club or gave an interview saying I wanted to leave, so it was a bit forced."

Shelvey has been a fixture in Roy Hodgson's England squad this season and knows he needs to be playing if he is to earn a dream trip to this summer's Euro 2016 finals in France.

He said: "I've been in every squad this season - but if you're not playing at your club, then you don't expect to get picked."

Press Association

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