'His stats were massive': Steve Bruce drools over Newcastle United player
Steve Bruce says he’s seeing a “different” Jonjo Shelvey now the midfielder is fully fit.
Shelvey made a goalscoring return to Newcastle United's starting XI last weekend.
The 27-year-old netted in a 3-2 win over West Ham United, his boyhood club, at the London Stadium, and the 27-year-old – who has overcome a niggling calf injury – will face Bournemouth at St James’s Park this weekend.
“I honestly believe that with Jonjo, he was not fully fit, and it was frustrating for him,” said Bruce, United’s head coach. “His stats last week were massive, so physically, he can do it.
“There’s this perception that he cannot do the distance, but he can. It’s keeping him there now. We all know he’s a good footballer, but ,with us, for the vast majority of times, we’re without the ball, and he has to understand he has to do his part, and he did it terrifically well at West Ham.
“On the ball, that’s why I put him in the team. He’s good for set-pieces, delivery, and he can pick a pass. He can do all those things, and that’s why he played.”
Bruce believes the emergence of 19-year-old Matty Longstaff has given Shelvey a “kick up the backside”.
“I saw a different Jonjo in training,” said Bruce. “He looked fit, healthy – and felt good about himself, so it was nice to see. I hope he’s finally playing without pain. It has been niggling along for him, so the rest probably did him the world of good.”