REVEALED! How Rafa Benitez's half-time team talk inspired Newcastle's second half showing at Watford

Jonjo Shelvey
Jonjo Shelvey

Jonjo Shelvey has revealed how Rafa Benitez's half-time approach helped to turn around Newcastle's performance against Watford.

The midfielder is also keen to see Benitez stay at St. James' Park, claiming that keeping the Spaniard would be Newcastle's most important signing of the summer.

A lacklustre first half performance at Vicarage Road saw the Magpies two goals down, but a vastly improved display after the interval saw Ayoze Perez reduce the deficit.

And Shelvey revealed how Benitez's calm manner helped to spark that turnaround.

"We were losing 2-0 at half-time the other day and in other dressing rooms I've been in, I would think 'we're going to get one here at half-time', but he just stayed calm," said Shelvey in an interview with Sky Sports News.

"I think that transferred onto the pitch in the second half, we were a different team. That shows a lot about him as a character."

Benitez's long-term future on Tyneside is still uncertain, but Shelvey is keen to see the former Liverpool boss pledge his future to the club.

And while recruitment on the field has been seen as vital, the midfielder believes that sealing the signature of Benitez is the most vital acquisition for the Magpies.

"Hopefully the manager will stay and we can keep building. I think that would be the most important signing of the summer is we could make Rafa stay," he added.

"He's turned the club around. When I first came here, there wasn't really a link between the fans and the players. Now there is such a buzz in Newcastle.

"He's got this aura about him. If you look at his CV, it speaks for itself. You just want to keep learning from him. You just need to be like a sponge and take it all in."