Steve Bruce on his big Jonjo Shelvey decision at Newcastle United

Steve Bruce has spoken about his decision to leave Jonjo Shelvey on Newcastle United’s bench.
Jonjo Shelvey.Jonjo Shelvey.
Jonjo Shelvey.

Shelvey was an unused substitute against Manchester United before the international break after recovering from a hamstring problem.

Bruce, without the suspended Isaac Hayden, instead fielded Matty Longstaff in midfield – and the 19-year-old scored the only goal of the game on what was his Premier League debut.

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Longstaff will keep his place against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this afternoon. And Shelvey – who has been troubled by a thigh problem since last year – must wait for his next chance.

“The hardest part of management is keeping the ones who aren’t playing happy,” said head coach Bruce. “If I’ve got 12 who aren’t playing, then I know what I would have been like, tearing the door down.

“He (Shelvey) accepted it. He had been struggling with a thigh for a while, and then a hamstring. So, in a big game, I decided to give the young ‘un the nod. He’s not going to enjoy that, but that’s what it was.

“He strained his hamstring after Brighton. He hasn’t been quite right. His thigh injury has been hanging around for a long time. He’s just got to accept it the way it is.”

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The 27-year-old said: “I won’t be leaving this football club. I don’t know who wants me to leave or doesn’t want me to leave, but as far as I’m aware I’m a Newcastle United player.”