Jonjo Shelvey claims Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has injected unity into squad

The Spaniard has been unable to keep the Magpies in the Premier League but is still highly popular.

Jonjo Shelvey has heaped praise upon Rafael Benitez by claiming that his arrival has helped bring some unity to the Newcastle squad, the Chronicle reports.

The Magpies go into the final day of the season having already been relegated to the Championship, but the Spaniard has seemingly been absolved of any blame with the general consensus suggesting that he was appointed too late in the campaign to make the kind of changes that would have saved the club.

And with speculation now beginning regarding whether Benitez will stay to try and help the club return to the Premier League at the earliest opportunity, Shelvey has seemingly confirmed that he wants the boss to stick around by hailing the impact that he has been able to make.

"He has instilled togetherness in the squad," he told the Chronicle.

"Everyone was coming into training with a smile on their face which is what you want.

"That has seen us through the last few weeks in terms of getting results."

Though the goalless draw with Aston Villa in their most recent game was a hugely disappointing result, their recent form has been impressive and suggested that Benitez had created the fighting spirit in the squad that would get them out of trouble.

However, while Sunderland acted quickly and appointed Sam Allardyce in October, Newcastle waited until March to make a managerial change, which was obviously too late for them. And so the fans and players will be hoping that the board make up for that mistake by doing everything they can to persuade Benitez to stay. 

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch