Rafa Benitez reveals his thoughts on pairing Jonjo Shelvey and Mikel Merino at Newcastle

Mikel Merino, left, and Solly March
Mikel Merino, left, and Solly March

Rafa Benitez says he would considering pairing Jonjo Shelvey and Mikel Merino in his Newcastle United midfield.

Shelvey and Merino are yet to start a game together.

However, Shelvey joined Merino on the pitch late in yesterday's 2-1 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.

Newcastle were pushing for an equaliser at the time, and United manager Benitez felt they combined well.

Asked if Shelvey and Merino can play together, Benitez said: "They did well when they were playing together, but it depends on the game.

"It depends on the moment during the games. (Yesterday) was a time when we needed to change something, and it was good for us.

"But it is a pity that with so much (possession) at the end, we have to create more chances and better chances and control things better."

Meanwhille, Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles reacted to the defeat on Twitter.

Lascelles tweeted: "Disappointed with the result today. We learn from our mistakes and take the positives onto next week. Fans brilliant as always."