By Dominic Toner
Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey believes that he and his team-mates must secure a return to the Premier League this season.
The Englishman fell out of favour with manager Rafa Benitez and was dropped from the starting 11 in the final months of last season, despite being stand-in club captain in the absence of the injured Fabricio Coloccini.
Shelvey told the Chronicle Live: “The main thing is to get this club out of the Championship because that’s the minimum we owe the fans. I always wanted to stay here because I want to play for Newcastle United Football Club.
“That’s been the only thing in my mind, and fingers crossed I can get an opportunity off the gaffer to play week in, week out next season. Hopefully we’ll be back in the Premier League before too long.”
Newcastle were relegated last season from the Premier League as bitter rivals Sunderland avoided the drop, but will be hoping to repeat their success of the 2009-10 season. After being relegated from the Premier League for the first time in the 2008/09 campaign, they secured an instant return to the top flight by winning the Championship with 102 points.
Shelvey still has five years left on his contract and seems intent on staying at St James’ Park to help Newcastle regain top-flight status immediately again.
The midfielder only joined Newcastle in January this year after sealing a costly £12million deal from Swansea City.
He made 15 appearances in the second half of the season and failed to score or reach the form which earned him his England caps.
Shelvey will be in direct competition with team-mates Jack Colback, Vernon Anita and Cheick Tiote for a starting central midfield position.
Manager Benitez has been busy in the transfer window adding Matt Ritchie, Dwight Gayle, Matz Sels, Isaac Hayden, Jesus Gamez and most recently Blackburn defender Grant Hanley.
In other Newcastle team news, their forward has declared that he wishes to remain with the club this season.