Eddie Howe provides update on Jonjo Shelvey’s future at Newcastle United

Eddie Howe was asked about Jonjo Shelvey’s long-term future at Newcastle United.

Jonjo Shelvey is set to feature in Eddie Howe’s long-term plans at Newcastle United.

But the Magpies’ head coach has challenged the central midfielder to maintain the standards he’s set in recent months.

Shelvey has been key to Howe’s early success as Newcastle boss - starting 14 of his 15 Premier League games in charge.

The 30-year-old has gone from being a divisive figure among supporters to one of the first names on the teamsheets.

Speaking in February, Shelvey admitted he was facing an uncertain future on Tyneside but revealed his determination to help build the club’s exciting future.

Asked about Shelvey’s future, Howe explained: “I see him as a long-term part of my plans, but he’ll dictate that by how he performs.

“He’s been a really important part of our team, there’s no denying that. He’s an integral part in both phases in the middle of the pitch.

"Defensively, he has to perform well. His best performance, defensively, was the Leeds game.

“He had a great tactical understanding of his position and what he needed to deliver.

“I don’t ever worry about him on the ball or in possession, that’s his strength. But I think he’s come a long way in terms of that defensive part.”

Shelvey has retained his place in the starting XI, as has Joe Willock and Joelinton, despite £35million-rated midfielder Bruno Guimaraes waiting in the wings.

The former England international actually apologised for his performance against Brighton, despite emerging with a 2-1 victory.

For that, Howe praised Shelvey’s leadership but believes an apology wasn’t necessary.

The 44-year-old said: “He felt he needed to do that and I’ve got no problem with him expressing that in a good way.

"Jonjo sets very high standards for himself, and I think he’s maybe been a little hard on himself. I don’t have an issue with.

"It probably wasn’t the game he wanted it to be and we wanted it to be. The result was, but the actual manner of the performance… we probably didn’t see the best of Jonjo on the ball, which is probably his hallmark and best asset, that is probably where he was going with it.

"I like accountability and responsibility. It shows the leadership of Jonjo. He’s been our captain in recent weeks, and I think he’s led the team very well.”

Shelvey is under contract at Newcastle United until 2023.