Shelvey determined for strong start to new season
Written by Luke Vinton
Jonjo Shelvey already has his sights firmly set on a positive season with Newcastle United after a frustrating spell last term.
The central midfielder made 17 appearances in all competitions for the Magpies this term, ending the season on a high by scoring in Newcastle's emphatic 4-0 win at Fulham on the final day of the season.
However, Shelvey's playing time during the 2018/19 campaign has been heavily restricted after struggling with a thigh injury and the England international is now looking forward to the new season and put a difficult period behind him.
Shelvey told nufc.co.uk: "Last season wasn't the best for me. You hear a lot of people saying 'He was rubbish last season.'
"But the truth is I got a very, very bad injury and I'm not looking for excuses, but that's the reason why I was out. I took a number of injections to try and get myself to play games and things like that, but it just wasn't to be.
"People wrote me off and things like that, but as far as I'm aware I'm a Newcastle United player and, until I'm told otherwise, I'll keep fighting for a spot in this team and to show everyone how good I am."
"It was [hard to get back into the team]. People came into the team and did well, and I wasn't given a lot of opportunities.
"But that's football at the end of the day; you're not going to go through your whole football career always having a perfect season, you're going to have these seasons now and again.
"Hopefully that is mine done and out of the way, and now I can look forward and continue into next season the way I finished last season.
"I obviously want to get myself back into the team first of all, and make sure by the start of the season that I'm back in the starting eleven and then kick on from there."
Newcastle will travel to China this summer to compete in the Premier League Asia Trophy as the Magpies face Wolves on Wednesday 17th July in Nanjing (kick-off 11am BST) before taking on either Manchester City or West Ham United on Saturday 20th July in Shanghai.
And Shelvey is eager in going head-to-head against Premier League opposition during pre-season, which the 27-year-old believes will be beneficial for himself after early preparations during the close season.
He added: "It's always good to play against teams that you're going to be playing against next season. It's better for your fitness to play a team straight away who is in your league. The likes of Manchester City, Wolves and West Ham all finished in the top half last season so it'll be interesting but a one we will be looking forward to.
"It will be difficult to play in the humidity and heat over there but something we are all looking forward to do. This sort of work, and the work I've been doing out in Dubai, that can only stand me in good stead for it.
"As long as I'm fit and I'm ready, the football side of it will take care of it for myself. I just need to get myself back to the fitness levels I lost during the three or four months I was injured.
"That's what I'll aim to do, and I'll come back ready to start the season."