Jonjo Shelvey insists he is no bad boy after an ignominious exit from Swansea but the Newcastle new boy accepts he is fortunate to be at St James’ Park.
The 23-year-old England international’s attitude was questioned as his spell at the Liberty Stadium turned sour, with interim boss Alan Curtis seemingly having decided he was surplus to requirements in the wake of his predecessor Garry Monk’s departure.
However, Shelvey, who started only two games in his final two months in south Wales and was involved in a heated exchange with a fan after the second of them, Sunday’s FA Cup third-round defeat at Oxford, has vowed to make the Swans pay after sealing a £12million switch to St James’ Park.
He said: “I want game time. I was told I didn’t suit the style of Swansea’s play by the manager. I never once asked to leave, I never came out in an interview to say that.
“It’s just that I wasn’t going to play, wasn’t getting my chance and I needed a new challenge. I was lucky a massive club showed interest in me and I’m a very fortunate boy to be here, and I realise that.
“The Swansea fans got on my back a bit at the end, without knowing what was going on behind the scenes. I was training hard and competing for a place in the team.
“I’d played the majority of games in the season and picked up five bookings – I was suspended and didn’t come back. I never got a chance of getting back in the team, so I felt I was a bit hard done by. The fans got on my back and said I had a bad attitude without really knowing what was going on behind the scenes.
“Obviously it is going to be Swansea’s loss in the end. I’m just lucky enough to find a club in Newcastle that have shown interest in me.”
Shelvey, who is likely to make his debut for the Magpies against West Ham on Saturday, revealed he received the seal of approval for his move from former Newcastle boss Kenny Dalglish, under whom he worked during his time at Liverpool.
He said: “I got a phone call from him last night when I was at the MetroCentre – I didn’t realise how big that was either! He said, ‘You have got bundles of ability, get yourself right and you will be fine and the fans will love you up there’.
“He has been here and he has done that. What a thing for one of the best players in the world of all time to ring you and say that. It was a big thing for me – it was more of a big thing for my dad.
“It’s nice that I am getting people ring me like that, but it is down to me now to kick on.”