Premier League survival is Newcastle's goal, says Jonjo Shelvey
By Richard Cooke
Last Updated: 15/11/17 9:49am
Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey says Premier League survival remains the club's main goal this season.
Newly-promoted Newcastle had a promising start to the season but slipped to 11th in the table before the international break following consecutive 1-0 defeats to Burnley and Bournemouth.
They go to Manchester United on Saturday looking to halt the slide and Shelvey is confident they can stay away from trouble at the wrong end of the table.
He told Newcastle's official website: "Anyone can beat anyone, so I think there's enough for us to survive in this league. That's our main goal, and then to build a platform and go on from there.
"If someone said to me last year that by the third international break you'd be sitting in 11th place, the majority of people would have bitten their hand off for it.
"No one knew how we were going to get on to start with - a lot of people were probably tipping us to go straight back down - but I feel there is enough in the changing room, and we've shown it on the pitch, to keep us up."
Manchester United are also looking to bounce back after losing 1-0 at Chelsea before the break and, even though they have not lost at home for more than a year, Shelvey is hopeful that Rafael Benitez can engineer a surprise.
He added: "Rafa knows this league, he knows how to set teams up and how to get results and I'm sure that we'll go there and give a good account of ourselves, and hopefully come away with something.
"We could go and do something against Man United - that's how weird this league is."
Shelvey is no stranger to big stages like Old Trafford and he is undaunted by one of Newcastle's stiffest tests of the season.
He went on: "As a footballer you go to grounds like that - and I include St James' Park in that - to play against the best players in the world, it's every kids dream."