Steve McClaren reacts to Jonjo Shelvey's renaissance at Newcastle
McClaren signed Shelvey for Â£12million from Swansea City in January last year late in his troubled tenure at St James's Park.
After a bright start, the midfielder struggled for form in the second half of last season as the club fought to stay in the Premier League.
McClaren's Derby County were beaten 1-0 by Newcastle at St James's Park on Saturday.
The result took United back to the top of the Championship.
Shelvey, outstanding for Newcastle in English football's second tier, was embraced by McClaren when he left the field.
McClaren said: "He's feisty, he's competitive and he wants to win. He's been the talisman from what I've seen they missed him for five games.
"He was a good signing whoever brought him in!"
McClaren expects United to go up as championship.
On his return to St James's Park, McClaren said: "It's a great club. Great supporters, and the staff have always been good and the majority of the players.
"It was always going to be a difficult afternoon. We go away with nothing and move on. (Aleksandar) Mitrovic and (Mohamed) Diame were good changes for them.
"They started very much front foot put us on the back foot.
"They looked very nervous towards the end but that's what this Championship is all about, and I expect them to go up as Champions."