Jonjo Shelvey believes Rafa Benitez's exit and the arrival of Steve Bruce is just what he needed to revive his Newcastle United career

Jonjo Shelvey believes Rafa Benitez’s exit and the arrival of Steve Bruce are just the shot in the arm required to revive his Newcastle United career.

Saturday, 20th July 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th July 2019, 5:19 pm

Shelvey endured a difficult, injury-hit campaign last season under Benitez – and talk had been rife the midfielder would depart St James’s Park this summer.

But, having nailed his colours to the mast this week, the former Liverpool and Swansea City midfielder is determined to succeed at United.

And he thinks Bruce, over Benitez, is better placed to get the best out of him – although he understands the frustration felt by fans as the most decorated manager in the club’s history was shown the door this summer.

NANJING, CHINA - JULY 17: Jonjo Shelvey of Newcastle United reacts during the Premier League Asia Trophy 2019 match between Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Olympic Sports Center Stadium on July 17, 2019 in Nanjing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images for Premier League)

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“For me personally I think I needed that change,” said Shelvey.

“I obviously understand the fans - they are disappointed and that. We had three great seasons under Rafa. I think now we have just got to move on, it wasn't to be.

Shelvey, who shone in the centre of a midfield five in the 1-0 Premier League Asia Trophy clash with West Ham in Shanghai this morning, continued: “He is a lot different to Rafa.

“With Rafa you never knew where you were, what he was thinking.

“Rafa's record speaks for itself - he probably didn't need to tell you what he was thinking.

“That's not knocking Rafa, Rafa is a terrific manager for me personally.

“I think the club has moved on now. I think everyone, the press, everyone needs to move on now.”

Bruce only took one United session, but Shelvey says the head coach’s impact was felt immediately.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “The other night we were not good enough.

“We only had a few weeks to work on that formation and Steve has come in and changed it. We have looked a lot more comfortable after two days with the five at the back.

“When a new manager comes in the training goes up a notch and everyone wants to impress.

“Everyone gets a clean slate and wants to get into the manager's eleven.

“He’s made a massive difference. He’s constantly talking to you, telling you what he is thinking.

“As a player, that's what you want.”