Shelvey pleased Newcastle have answered their critics under Steve Bruce

Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is pleased that the Magpies have answered the critics who had expected them to be relegated under Steve Bruce this term. The Tyneside outfit saw high-profile exits in the form of Salomon Rondon, Ayoze Perez and manager Rafael Benitez last summer and that led to suggestions that they may struggle to preserve their Premier League status for more than 12 months.

However, they have managed to prove the critics wrong with 35 points accumulated from 29 games this term and they are currently eight points ahead of the drop zone. In a Youtube live session, Shelvey highlighted that the club have done better than the initial expectations of them and hopefully, they can carry the positives when the season resumes after the coronavirus shutdown.

He told: “We were tipped by others to be relegated. But we have done very well. We have picked up a lot of points when people thought we should. While we have been off I have had time to go back and watch our games. I have been going on the club website and go through bits and bobs you need to brush up on. This has been a learning curve to refresh and recharge and then hopefully go again.”

Over the past few weeks, the Magpies’ takeover has been the main topic of interest. Mike Ashley has already agreed on a deal worth £300m to transfer the ownership to PCP Capital Partners, who are backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund. Should the move go through officially, the Magpies could compete with the Premier League’s elite in a few years’ time, considering the prospective owners are expected to pursue high-profile players. Meanwhile, there could also be a change in the head coach. Mauricio Pochettino, formerly of Tottenham Hotspur, has been earmarked as the front-runner to replace Bruce.