Jonjo Shelvey will ‘be very important as the season develops’, insists Eddie Howe as newly-appointed Newcastle manager hints at building lowly Magpies around ‘incredible technician’
Eddie Howe has hinted that he could build his Newcastle team around ‘incredible technician’ Jonjo Shelvey.
The new boss has spent the international break on the training ground with his squad and will take charge of his first match at home to Brentford on Saturday.
Howe wants to implement an attacking style at St James’ Park and believes he has the players to do so, making specific reference to former England midfielder Shelvey.
Jonjo Shelvey (left) has earned the plaudits of newly-appointed Newcastle boss Eddie Howe
Asked if any of the group had surprised him since he took over, the head coach said: ‘Just picking one, for example, Jonjo Shelvey.
‘I knew how good Jonjo was on the ball technically, having played against him and seen him many times. When you actually work with him, you realise he’s an incredible technician, and he can play passes all over the pitch, long and short.
‘He’s someone that I’ve looked at, in terms of our philosophy and how we want to play, and he’ll be very important for us as the season develops.’
Shelvey, 29, spoke to Sportsmail last month in the days after the Saudi-led takeover and admitted he was fighting for his future at the club.
‘I’ve got 18 months left on my contract, so it comes down to me to show the people in charge what I’m about. I have to look after number one, it’s my career,’ he said.
‘So it is nerve-racking, but I’m a positive person and I’ll try to grasp the opportunity with both hands. There is excitement and nerves, I suppose.’
Howe has warned that it will take time to change the playing philosophy, but he says supporters should notice a difference this weekend.
‘The basic fundamentals of how we play, I’d like to think you’ll see tomorrow,’ he said. ‘I would like to think you’ll see a Newcastle team playing in the way I want them to, a way befitting of what the Newcastle supporters want to see as well.
‘How quickly we can get there? Well, we’ll see. But I’d like to think you’d see a team playing for the shirt, the supporters, the badge, and doing the team and the city proud.
‘We’ve tried to implement our philosophy in a steady way. We don’t want to overload the players too much, but we definitely want to shape the team in the way that we want to go forward. I’ve been very impressed with the players’ response and attitude.’