Jonjo Shelvey reacts to Newcastle's derby comeback and Aleksandar Mitrovic's dramatic goal

Jonjo Shelvey's backed Newcastle United to stay up after their "show of character" against Sunderland.

Sunday, 20th March 2016, 3:59 pm
Updated Sunday, 20th March 2016, 4:06 pm
Jonjo Shelvey and Yann M'Vila

Rafa Benitez's side came from behind to draw 1-1 at St James's Park.

Aleksandar Mitrovic cancelled out Jermain Defoe's first-half opening goal with a dramatic late equaliser before getting knocked out.

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Sunderland were the better team for much of the game.

And Newcastle remain 19th in the Premier League and three points adrift of 17th-placed Norwich City, their next opponents.

But stand-in captain Shelvey said: "I believe we've got the right players, the right manager, to stay up.

"We're going to give it a go until the end and I'm sure we've got enough in that dressing room."

Shelvey, signed from Swansea City in January, was blown away by the atmosphere at St James's Park.

"It was a brilliant atmosphere, probably one of the best atmospheres I've been involved in," said the midfielder. "Our fans were superb."

Mitrovic met a superb right-wing cross from Georginio Wjinaldum at the far post to claim what could prove to be a hugely-important point for Newcastle.

The striker had to leave the field after suffering concussion in a challenge with Lamine Kone, and Benitez, on advice from doctor Paul Catterson, didn't allow him to return to the pitch.

"You can't fault him," said Shelvey. "He's always getting in the right positions. I'd be worried if he wasn't.

"I'm sure the goals will come. What a great goal it was to get us back into the game."

Sunderland were the better team in the first half and deservedly led at the break.

"They had a few chances in the first half, and so did we to be honest," said Shelvey.

"I thought in the second half we penned them in and probably deserved to nick it in the end.

"We see it as a good point. We showed tremendous character to come back in a game of that magnitude.

"The gaffer in there said we showed great character. That's the positive we need to take.

"I think we're the club with the most injured (players) in the Premier League. There are a lot of people playing out of position, but they're doing it for the team and rightly so.

"We were a bit unlucky to go 1-0 down, but we kept on probing and probing.

"The gaffer wanted us to get forward quicker, and I think we did thatin the second half and stuck to the game plan."