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Mixed emotions for Shelvey as Seagulls snatch point

Written by Rory Mitchinson

Jonjo Shelvey cut a frustrated figure after Newcastle United shipped a late equaliser to Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Saturday evening.

The Magpies enjoyed by far the better of the opening half and deservedly led at the break through Ayoze Pérez, who applied the finishing touch to a sweeping move to net for the fifth time in just three Premier League games.

However, Chris Hughton’s side – still to secure their top-flight status for the 2019/20 campaign – improved after the interval and, after a period in the ascendancy, they levelled after Pascal Gross nodded Glenn Murray’s knockdown beyond Martin Dúbravka.

Shelvey had been taken off just five minutes prior to the Seagulls’ equaliser, and the midfielder admitted he was pained to watch the Magpies surrender their advantage from afar.

“It’s just horrible,” he told nufc.co.uk. “The game probably deserved a draw – we dominated the first half, then they probably dominated the second half – but you always feel when you go 1-0 up away from home you’ve got a good chance of getting three points. But it wasn’t to be and we move on to the next game.

“We had the chances to get the second goal, to be fair – we just couldn’t convert them. We just have to keep pushing now, go back to the training pitch and work on what we’ve done wrong today and prepare for a massive game against Liverpool. We felt totally in control in the first half – I’ve never had so many touches of a football in a game in my life, to be fair, so it was a good game to come back into but one that we’re coming away disappointed from.”

Prior to the clash on the South Coast, Shelvey hadn’t started a single game for United since 3rd November, with each of his appearances since – six in the Premier League, and one in the FA Cup – coming from the bench.

Although a touch surprised to be given the nod against the Seagulls, he was satisfied with his display up until the 70th minute, when he was replaced by Ki Sung-yueng.

“Hand on my heart, I didn’t think I’d start (again) this season,” he admitted. “That’s the impression I was getting because the team were doing so well and it’s hard to get in; I haven’t really been given the opportunities.

“I was glad to start. I found out the team on Friday and spoke to the family straight away to tell them I was going to be playing. Six months is a long time without starting a game but I felt I did reasonably well. It’s hard to start a game after six months – it’s not as easy as what people think. But I think I did reasonably well and I just want to try and maintain my place for the following week.”

"We felt totally in control in the first half – I’ve never had so many touches of a football in a game in my life, to be fair, so it was a good game to come back into but one that we’re coming away disappointed from."

Jonjo Shelvey

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