Jonjo Shelvey admits he is facing an uncertain future at Newcastle United - but is determined to help build the club’s exciting future.
The 29-year-old is under no false illusions over the situation facing him and his Magpies teammates following the takeover in October.
The new owners, led by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, have huge ambitions to win trophies and make Newcastle a European and World powerhouse.
Lots of work must go into getting United there - it’s no quick project - but Shelvey knows how vitally important it is that Premier League relegation is avoided this season.
Should that be achieved, Shelvey is, in his words, “not stupid” to what lies ahead, which could see many of United’s current squad move on to pastures new.
But Shelvey is motivated by the prospect of playing a part in Newcastle’s rise back to the top of English football and beyond.
‘We’re not stupid’
In a candid interview with the club’s matchday programme UNITED, Shelvey said: “We’re not stupid - we know the game - and the new owners have come in, and (we know) where the club wants to do be and stuff like that.
“That core group that got us out of the Championship - we’re not stupid. We know we’re not getting any younger. We’re getting older.
“The club wants to move on with getting players in and out but until we’re told we’re no longer required, we’re just going to continue to do our jobs to the best of our abilities.
“But it’s exciting - I want to be a part of it, and I will continue to be a part of it until I’m told otherwise.
“I look forward to, when I’m finished playing, coming back here and seeing where the club is, because I’ll know that I’ve been a part of the process getting it there.
“That’s something that really excites.”
‘If we go down, that sets the club back another year’
Shelvey has been a divisive figure with supporters since his £12million move from Swansea City in January 2016 despite playing a key role in the squad that was promoted from the Championship and the one that has kept United in the Premier League for the last four seasons.
Make that five seasons come May and Shelvey, who is out of contract next summer, is fully aware of what lies ahead for Newcastle United.
“This city and this football club need us in the Premier League so they can progress in the summer and beyond those years.
“We want to do that, and we want to be a part of it, so we’re not going to just toss it off and say ‘we’ll let them get relegated, it don’t matter, they’re going to get rid of us anyway’. That ain’t the process.
“It’s an achievement to stay in the Premier League but in terms of where this club should be - especially now - it should be fighting for the European places, eventually winning the league, eventually competing in the Champions League.
“We’re a massive part in terms of that because if we go down, that sets it back another year. We don’t want that to happen. We want those things to come.
“We know how long the fans have waited for the takeover, and how many years of disbelief and stuff they’ve been through, so we need to set that up for them this season.”