Jonjo Shelvey admits that he played through the pain barrier earlier this season and ignored Rafa’s advice to rest and recover following a recent injury – a decision that’s backfired after missing that last 6 weeks.
Shelvey has struggled with fitness all season by his own admission but there is little doubt that when is he is fit and on form, he is a real asset to this Newcastle side. His partnership with Mo Diame was integral to our top ten finish last season and our fine form at the back end of last campaign.
Here’s what Jonjo’s had to say after speaking to NUFC TV following his long awaited return to full training in Spain:
“I went away in the summer and got myself even fitter to be honest with you and came back to pre-season and then that (injury) happens.”
“You’re in and out and it’s hard to get that momentum, to manage the pain.”
“I was literally just hobbling around the pitch and I can’t give the best account of myself for this football club and for myself so I needed to take the time off.”
“It’s been hard and the manager said to me to just nip it in the bud and get it sorted, but I just wanted to keep playing and playing and playing.”
“I eventually learnt my lesson to nip it in the bud and it’s been six weeks now since I kicked a football.”
“Coming out here and starting to re-integrate with the team just brings a smile to your face.” “It’s hard.”
“You’re literally going into training every day and you’re seeing the lads smiling and training outside and running around and that.”
“Even on a match day, you miss that buzz of putting the kit on and playing for your club.
“It was probably my fault in the first place why I’ve been out so long.”
“I should have nipped it in the bud and took a few weeks in pre-season to get it right but the way I am, I just want to play football and go through the pain barrier.”
“Sometimes you have to think about yourself and look after your body and that’s something I realised over the last four or five weeks.”
There are some good words from Shelvey there, fans always admire players who are just desperate to play and help the team. Shelvey’s passion has often got him in trouble on the field too, with some red cards and bans during his time at the club since signing from Swansea City.
He does though now have a job on his hands to get back into the team on two fronts. His initial replacement was Ki, who was excellent and instrumental in our form picking up after a dreadful start to the season. Then with Ki injured and on international duty, local lad Sean Longstaff has more than seized his chance – serving up outstanding performances in his five appearances so far.
Even Isaac Hayden has played really well, even scoring at Wolves on Monday night, and with Diame returning to fitness too all of a sudden we have a load of options in the middle of the field. Knowing Rafa, Hayden and Longstaff will keep their places as they deserve it based on form, so it may need some impressive cameos from the bench for Shelvey to get back into the XI and kick start his own season.