Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey praised his manager Steve Bruce after a strong run of recent form going into the festive period.
Shelvey also talked up his side’s chances of beating the drop, referring to the motivation of proving the pre-season critics wrong.
He told NUFC TV: “It was probably key to miss one game rather than six or seven if I’d made it worse but I should be back training by Thursday so it’ll give me a chance to play on Saturday. Hopefully the game I’ve missed, I can just put that aside and get back to winning ways and hopefully another goal on Saturday.
“Steve Bruce is probably one of the best man managers I have ever worked with, you know what he wants of you as a player and I’m just going to keep on listening to him. A lot of people probably tipped us to get relegated this year, so nice to prove people wrong, prove the critics wrong.”
TBR’s View – Bruce’s more relaxed style clearly getting more from Shelvey
Shelvey’s maverick style was never going to marry perfectly with Rafa Benitez’s insistence on discipline and general reluctance to indulge the personalities of any of his players.
But Bruce is more willing to grant freedom to his players providing they do the business and he is managing to get enough defensive discipline out of his side in the process.