Newcastle United briefing: Martin Dubravka's 'amazing feeling' at St James's Park, blow for Alan Pardew and West Brom

St James's Park has seen some memorable debuts over the years.

Martin Dubravka
Martin Dubravka

And you can add the name of Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka to that list.

Dubravka, signed on loan from Sparta Prague last month, was superb in Sunday's 1-0 win over Manchester United.

The 29-year-old has spoken about the "amazing feeling" he had at St James's Park.

Here's your daily briefing:


Dubravka paid tribute to his cool-headed Newcastle team-mates – for helping him through a “stressful” debut.

Martin Dubravka

The Slovakia international, hoping to earn a permanent move to the club, made a series of saves and helped the team withstand a late onslaught from Jose Mourinho's side.

“It was an amazing feeling for me, because we won against a very strong team,” said Dubravka.

“I’m very happy that we won as a team. We worked hard in training. We tried to do our best.”

Dubravka stopped a first-half shot from Anthony Martial with his left foot.

Jonjo Shelvey

“It was very important for me,” said the Slovakia international. “When you’re in a new club and trying to do your best and show people that you deserve to be here, it’s very important (to make a save like that).

“But probably more important for me was the first touch with the ball.

“You’re trying to help the players and I was happy at that moment that I could pass a good ball and stay calm and just enjoy the game.”

Read our full interview with Dubravka here.

Martin Dubravka

Pass master

Jonjo Shelvey also impressed against Man United.

And manager Rafa Benitez says interview-shy Shelvey’s maturing on the pitch – and letting his feet do his talking.

Shelvey and team-mate Mohamed Diame dominated the midfield and saw off Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, who were both taken off by Mourinho.

Benitez feels that Shelvey is no longer in such a “rush” with the ball at his feet.

Asked about Shelvey’s performance, Benitez said: “It was really good.

Jonjo Shelvey

“I think he knew what to do with the ball sometimes that in the past he was in a little bit of a rush, and now (he’s) much better.

“The team was also helping, because of the movement and the support from his team-mates was very good.

“He’s someone with quality that he can pass and can keep the ball and he can make the difference with one pass.”


Former Newcastle target Daniel Sturridge limped out of West Bromwich Albion's defeat to Chelsea.

The Liverpool striker turned down a move to St James's Park and signed for Alan Pardew's side on loan late in last month's transfer window.

Sturridge limped off the pitch against former club Chelsea last night.

Antonio Conte's Premier League champions beat basement club West Brom 3-0. The result left Pardew's side eight points behind 13th-placed Newcastle.

"We've got to hope Daniel's injury isn't too bad," said ex-United manager Pardew.

"He was distraught. The way he's worked at our place has been of the highest order. He's absolutely devastated, because he wants this period to be a success."

United signed Islam Slimani on loan from Leicester City after missing out on Sturridge, whose Liverpool career has been interrupted by a series of injuries.

Slimani arrived on Tyneside with a minor groin problem and could make his debut against Bournemouth later this month.

Click on the video above to watch a gallery of photographs from Newcastle United's win over Manchester United