By North-east correspondent Harry Sykes
Rafael Benitez axed Jonjo Shelvey from the Newcastle team because he wanted a “different approach”.
The Magpies manager made five changes to the side for the clash against Swansea on Saturday and the new-look outfit responded with a 3-0 win at St James’ Park.
The victory kept alive Newcastle’s hopes of retaining their Premier League status as they drew within three points of 17th placed Norwich.
Cheick Tiote and Jack Colback were recalled to pair up in Shelvey’s central midfield position in what was a damning indictment of the former Swansea player’s performances since his January transfer.
Nevertheless, Shelvey replaced Tiote at the 66-minute mark when the home side were 1-0 up and helped them build on their advantage.
Benitez explained why he dropped Shelvey on the day he was revved up to face his old club.
The former Liverpool and Chelsea manager said: “We needed a different approach to the game. They did really well and after Shelvey came on, he was good too.
“The main thing they have to realise is that we are a team and we need everyone, we need everyone for every game until the end, so it was really positive, the reaction of Jonjo, because he came from the bench and he did well.”
Sam Allardyce’s team won 3-0 at Norwich in the early Saturday kick-off.