Date: 23rd February 2018 at 4:48pm
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Like the good man manager he is, Rafa Benitez spoke highly of Jonjo Shelvey today in his pre Bournemouth press conference.

Questioned by the media with the video available on the official NUFC website as well as having been shown on Sky Sports, Rafa couldn’t contain his pleasure at seeing his former employee at Liverpool coming through a difficult spell.

Rafa said that when Shelvey plays well, Newcastle play well and vice versa, he also said that he was enjoying his football and trying hard in training which was good to hear.

Some quotes about it today from Rafa:

I’ve talked with him every training session about a lot of things.

He is someone who is learning, it is a question of if he can manage these situations and do well with all the pressure of football and the Premier League and people watching him and analysing his behaviour.

From the beginning, I was trying to trust him with his game and the way he manages his life, we have been talking about these things for a while.

Shelvey started the season by getting sent off at home to Spurs for standing on the dramatic Dele Alli’s foot and was then suspended for two games and then left on the bench for the win at Swansea in the next one, probably to make him learn.

He’s featured in most of our games since but when he has a stinker, Rafa benches him.

His double yellow card against Everton and the resulting red and two match ban saw him return after against Man City before he was benched for Brighton and got ten minutes. Since then he’s kept his nose clean with some better performances although Rafa rested him for the home Burnley game by allowing him to warm the bench.

Hopefully he allows this praise to carry us home to safety in these final eleven games.