The Shields Gazette reports that JonJo Shelvey has hit the nail on the head in the immediate aftermath of the midweek win over Reading.
The midfielder said:
“We need players who are fearless, who will want the ball whether things are going well or badly.
“We need to be brave and stand up and be counted.”
It’s a spot-on assessment of how we can win the Championship. We’ve seen how confidence was easily dented by defeats in the first two games but now it’s up to the squad to show their ability.
Tomorrow is a tricky match, with Bristol City keen to claim our scalp. Reports earlier this week suggested it would be a 22,000 sell-out and their biggest crowd for years. With that kind of backing, the players should be up for it.
It’s up to us to build on Wednesday’s win. There were moments when we rocked but also when Reading had us reeling. It’s impossible to prevent that happening at all during ninety minutes but as with then, we have to prove our mettle for the battle ahead.
Back-to-back wins for the first time since December last year would go a long way to instilling self-belief into the squad. The character Shelvey demands can become second nature with another win and another step toward tearing up this division.