Alamy Stock Photo Jonjo Shelvey (file pic).
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Eddie Howe responds to Jonjo Shelvey apology

The Magpies are unbeaten in eight Premier League games.

NEWCASTLE BOSS Eddie Howe has saluted Jonjo Shelvey’s leadership skills after the midfielder apologised for his performance against Brighton.

Shelvey has captained the Magpies in the absence of Jamaal Lascelles and Kieran Trippier as they have extended their unbeaten Premier League run to eight games to significantly increase their survival hopes.

The 30-year-old issued an apology for his own display via the club’s Twitter account in the wake of Saturday’s hard-fought 2-1 win over the Seagulls, and although Howe admitted he would have preferred those thoughts to remain internal, he was happy with the player’s commitment to the cause.

As he prepared his side for Thursday night’s trip to Southampton, the 44-year-old said: “I’ve got no problem with him expressing that in a good way. Jonjo sets very high standards for himself, and I think he’s maybe been a little harsh on himself. I don’t have an issue with him.

“It probably wasn’t the game he wanted it to be and we wanted it to be. The result was, but the actual manner of the performance… We probably didn’t see the best of Jonjo on the ball, which is probably his hallmark and best asset, which is probably where he was going with it.

“I like the accountability and responsibility. It shows the leadership of Jonjo.

“My own personal opinion is you’re probably better off keeping it internal. But if you feel the need to express that, then I’m not in a position to stop that and I wouldn’t want to stop that.

“Dealing with things internally is where I would have been as a player myself. But times have changed and you have to move with the times.”

Shelvey will hope to do his talking on the pitch at the St Mary’s Stadium in a fixture which has been rearranged – much to the annoyance of Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl – following its postponement in January after coronavirus and injuries severely depleted Howe’s squad.

Newcastle have since significantly strengthened their pool and Hasenhuttl has voiced the opinion that new recruits should not be allowed to figure in rescheduled fixtures.

Asked if that was ridiculous, Howe, whose side face three away games in eight days, said: “Obviously somebody thinks so because we are allowed to.

“We are just following the protocols that we have been set and we’re delighted to play our new players. They have done very well for us and made a difference.”

Press Association
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