Eddie Howe responds to Newcastle United apology from Jonjo Shelvey
Eddie Howe has given his view on the apology issued by Jonjo Shelvey after Newcastle United’s win over Brighton and Hove Albion.
The club issued an apology from stand-in captain Shelvey after last weekend’s hard-fought 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion at St James’s Park.
Newcastle are now eight games unbeaten, and 14th in the Premier League, ahead of tomorrow night’s game against Southampton.
Shelvey said: “I apologise for my own performance. I've actually watched the game back twice, but I dug deep, and am proud of my team for doing the same.”
Howe was asked about 30-year-old midfielder Shelvey’s unexpected statement ahead of the club’s visit to the St Mary’s Stadium.
“It’s a strange one,” said United’s head coach. “I think he felt he needed to do that. 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 (that).
"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. He’s been our captain in recent weeks, and I think he’s led the team very well.”
Shelvey – who has only missed one game under Howe – has 18 months left on his contract at Newcastle.
“He’s been a really important part of our team,” said Howe. “He’s an integral part in both phases in the middle of the pitch.
"Defensively, he has to perform well. His best performance, defensively, was the Leeds game. He had a great tactical understanding of his position and what he needed to deliver. I don’t every worry about him on the ball, that’s his strength. But I think he’s come a long way in terms of that defensive part.
“I see him as a long-term part of my plans, but he’ll dictate that by how he performs.”