Jonjo Shelvey lifts the lid on the mood behind the scenes at Newcastle

Newcastle's Jonjo Shelvey in action.
Newcastle's Jonjo Shelvey in action.

Jonjo Shelvey says Newcastle United’s players are NOT “feeling sorry for themselves” in the wake of relegation.

Instead, the midfielder says the squad is determined to right the wrongs of last season.

Rafa Benitez’s side will take on Southend United at Roots Hall tonight in their penultimate pre-season friendly (7.45pm kick-off).

Newcastle, buoyed by Benitez’s decision to stay and the six summer signings, are unbeaten in their three games up to now.

And Shelvey, signed from Swansea City for £12million in January, says the mood is upbeat as the start of the Championship campaign edges closer.

“I don’t think you can feel sorry yourself, and this certainly doesn’t feel like a club that’s feeling sorry for itself because of what happened,” said Shelvey, who scored in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Sporting Lokeren.

“We obviously deserved to go down because we weren’t good enough last year.

“It is what it is, and we are where we are, but it’s down to us now to put things right.

“ We’ve brought in some tremendous signings.

“It’s obviously another big plus with the manager staying. He’ll be giving it his best shot to try to get us out of the Championship.

“It’s down to us now to repay the fans for sticking by us.”

Shelvey – who has experience of the Championship from earlier in this career – is having to prove himself all over again in pre-season given the competition for places in Benitez’s squad.

And the 24-year-old said: “There’s nothing better than being back playing games – that’s what you want to do as a footballer.

“You want to play as many games as you can in the short space of time before the season begins, because that’s the best way to get fit and sharp. It’s good to be back out there.”