Jonjo Shelvey hints at feeling ill-informed around Rafa Benitez


“I think the change of manager could be a good thing. For me personally, I probably needed that change and trying to get into Steve’s plans. I understand the fans are disappointed. We had three great seasons under Rafa but it wasn’t to be and I think we’ve all got to move on. If we put in performances like that, week in and week out in the Premier League they can have no problem with it. Steve is a lot different to Rafa. You never knew what Rafa was thinking. His record speaks for itself and he probably didn’t need to talk to you and tell you what he’s thinking but personally as a player I’d rather have someone who talks to you and you know what he’s thinking. That’s not knocking Rafa because he was a terrific, terrific manager. Rafa’s gone now and the club has moved on and everyone as a whole – the press included – need to move on and give this man some time.

“I hope it’s going to a big role for me now. I enjoy playing in that role. I found out yesterday I was playing in that position and it suits me, I can get on the ball a bit more where I’m a bit deeper than the other two midfielders and I can play the passes I like to play. At every club when a new manager comes in the training goes up a notch. The players get busy and everyone’s looking to impress because everyone gets a clean slate, everyone gets to start over and try and get into that starting XI. I think that’s what everyone has tried to do today. We did a long old run the day before a game and I’ve never really experienced that. I thought I’d be knackered but I wasn’t, I was alright. He’s made a massive difference. He’s constantly talking to you, telling you what he’s thinking and things like that. As a player, that’s what you want. You want to know what a manager’s thinking and where you fit in his plans. It’s good.

“The other night we weren’t good enough, we only had a few weeks of work on the formation and Steve’s come in and changed it again and we’ve had two days and look a lot more comfortable with five at the back and I think we thoroughly deserved to win. Steve came in and said a few bits and he told us what he wants us to do in and out of possession and in the first half we looked very comfortable. In the second half we knew they were going to come out a bit more but I felt we dealt with them effectively and went on to win.”

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