Jonjo Shelvey issues defiant response to being dropped and losing captaincy to Moussa Sissoko

Newcastle Utd - Gate

The Newcastle midfielder featured only as a substitute in the 3-0 win over Swansea City at the weekend.

Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has insisted that Rafael Benitez's decision to drop him from the side and replace him as captain with Moussa Sissoko is "not a big issue", and feels that he would still have been wearing the armband if he had started, as quoted by the Chronicle.

Shelvey was previous manager Steve McClaren's choice as skipper during the continued injury absence of regular captain Fabricio Coloccini and was hailed by the former England boss for his leadership qualities.

However, Benitez dropped the former Swansea City man for the 3-0 win over his former side, instead handing the captaincy to Sissoko, who responded by scoring his first goal of the season with the decisive second goal eight minutes from time.

Benitez admitted earlier this week that he does not know who he will be naming captain for tonight's clash with Manchester City, but Shelvey insists that he is not concerned over who wears the armband, but admitted he was hoping for a recall to the starting XI.

When asked about the captaincy issue, the England international responded, as quoted by the Chronicle: "It’s not a big issue, Moussa deserved it - I wasn’t starting, if I had been I’d have still been captain.

"The gaffer went with Cheick [Tiote] and [Jack] Colback as he wanted to be a bit more defensive. It was his decision, we’ve got a game on Tuesday night it’s a squad game - fingers crossed I get a start then."

Newcastle's victory on Saturday has given them a huge boost in their hunt for survival, leaving them only three points adrift of safety with a game in hand over 17th-placed Norwich City.

However, that extra match is no easy one, as they host Champions League contenders Manchester City at St. James' Park tonight.

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