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Shelvey: "We Need To Be More Ruthless"

NUFC Logo Newcastle United FC

Jonjo Shelvey has called on his Newcastle United teammates to be "more ruthless" in the final third

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor


Jonjo Shelvey has called on his Newcastle United teammates to be "more ruthless" in the final third, following Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Watford.

Second-half goals from Odion Ighalo and Craig Cathcart sent the Magpies back to Tyneside empty-handed, even though defender Jamaal Lascelles gave them hope by pulling one back with time running out.

And it was a familiar tale for United, who played well for large parts at Vicarage Road without being able to convert the chances that came their way.

"Everyone is frustrated," midfielder Shelvey told nufc.co.uk.

"We came here to win the game, and even though we lost I felt we still had enough chances to warrant a point or maybe all three.

"But we didn't start the second half well. We got caught cold, flat-footed

"It was one of those days. You try and create and create and create, but if the ball doesn't end up in the back of the net then you're not going to win.

"Jamaal scored a good goal but we had a few more chances from crosses and set pieces that we just couldn't get in the back of the net.

"They got on top of us at the start of the second half but, apart from that, I thought we did reasonably okay.

"We deserved a little more but we have to take our chances. We need to be more ruthless in front of goal. If we were more ruthless, we would have beaten them easily.

"We can create chances - we've got players throughout the team who can do that - but we have to be able to put those chances away."

Having gone in goalless at half-time, Newcastle found themselves behind after just 45 seconds of the second period, when Ighalo broke the offside trap to round goalkeeper Rob Elliot and tap home.

It was the worst possible start, and Shelvey - who arrived from Swansea City earlier this month - admitted: "When that happens it knocks you back a peg or two.

"Then they went and got the second goal. I played with Craig at Blackpool - he doesn't score many and probably won't score again in his life. That's just our luck at the moment.

"The pitch wasn't great. You couldn't get a good first touch and it wasn't a place you could play football.

"But we can't make excuses - we didn't get the three points and we let the fans down today.

"It's back to the drawing board and we'll go again against Everton. We have to stay positive and concentrate on getting three points against them."