Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has told NUFC TV of his frustration at the lack of playing time he got under Rafa Benitez last season.
The 24 year old was bought in the January transfer window from Swansea City for £12million and he was given the captain’s armband by former manager Steve McClaren before he was sacked in March.
After Benitez took over at St James’ Park, Shelvey was reduced to appearances from the substitute bench in the last two months of the season and the England international has said that it “hurt” when he wasn’t a regular fixture in the first team under the Spaniard:
“I want to play as much as possible, I want to be a regular starter. It hurt me last year. I didn’t show it, I was very professional and took it on the chin. There will be times when you aren’t playing. Hopefully I can start this season and we can get back up to the Premier League.”
Determined to make an impression on Benitez, Shelvey hired a personal trainer and shed six to seven kilos in the five weeks before the start of preseason to give him the best preparation possible for life in the Championship as Newcastle look to bounce back and gain promotion to the Premier League at the first attempt.