English Premiership

Shelvey: Benitez has given us a lift

Jonjo Shelvey (Getty Images)
Jonjo Shelvey (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Jonjo Shelvey admits the whole Newcastle squad has been given a lift by the arrival of Rafael Benitez and everyone is looking to impress the former Real Madrid boss.

The Magpies are currently embroiled in a relegation scrap with fierce local rivals Sunderland as Premier League draws to a close, but Shelvey claims the Spaniard has lifted spirits as they look to retain their status.

"You're always being watched - you feel like you're on trial if you like," the 24-year old told BBC Newcastle.

"Everyone's looking to impress and being a lot busier than normal.

"But that's part and parcel of football, you need to show what you're about. When a new manager comes in, it's like going to school again."

Shelvey believes the international break will do the Toon good as Benitez looks to shape up the struggling team before they take on relegation rivals Norwich at Carrow Road next month.

"People are listening to what he says. His record speaks for itself," he said.

"[The break] will be a good chance to really knuckle down. We've not had much time since he's come in because everything has been a bit rushed.

"Rafa will come up with a game plan because that's what he does. I'm sure we'll go to Norwich and give a very good account of ourselves."

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