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Rafa Benitez reveals how he helped Jonjo Shelvey get back to his best at Newcastle

Jonjo Shelvey
Jonjo Shelvey

Jonjo Shelvey scored his first Premier League goal for Newcastle United at the King Power Stadium.

The strike, which came more than two years into his career at St James's Park, set the club on its way to a 2-1 win over Leicester City.

And the result lifted Newcastle up to 10th place in the Premier League.

Shelvey, signed from Swansea City in January 2016, didn't score in his first half-season at the club, though he netted five Championship goals last term.

And the 26-year-old – who netted an FA Cup goal against Luton Town in January – finally opened his Premier League for United account with a superb strike.

Shelvey shaped up to shoot before taking a touch and squeezing the ball, which took a slight deflection, between Kasper Schmeichel and the right-hand post.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

Asked how he had helped Shelvey get back to his best, manager Benitez said: "You try to do things, but the main thing is he has the talent and he has the quality.

"So he just has to settle down a little bit and then he can use his quality in the game too dictate the tempo. So you try to repeat and repeat and it takes some time with this team because it is a young team."

Shelvey hasn't played for England since joining Newcastle.

"Jonjo's a good player, but if he has good players around him, like with England, he can be even better," added Benitez.

"I think it’s good for him, because now everybody is talking about he can go with the national team! He scored, and he was also good in the game."

Meanwhile, Benitez named an unchanged team for the third game in a row at the King Power Stadium, where Ayoze Perez also found the net.

“We’ve continued with the same team for three games and we’ve been winning," said Benitez. "Sometimes, you want to give a chance to other players, but the team's winning so you want to carry on with the best team possible.

"Still, we’re winning, so it will be difficult for the other ones, but they need to keep pushing me and competing with the others."