Jonjo Shelvey has told talkSPORT that he believes he’s unfairly labelled with the tag of being a ‘bit of an idiot’.
The Newcastle United midfielder has accepted that his mindset hasn’t been in the right place previously, with various well documented on-field clashes with referees.
Shelvey, however, maintains that he’s been tarred with the wrong brush and made out to be something he’s isn’t.
“As soon as you do one bad thing you get this reputation as being a bit of an idiot,” he told talkSPORT’s James Savundra.
“People that play with me know that deep down I’m a good person and a good guy. I’d do anything for any of my teammates.
“I feel like I’ve got the right mindset and I’m in a good place. I’m just itching to get back now. We just want to get back to winning games.”
Shelvey is a vital cog in Steve Bruce’s midfield, and signed a new long-term contract in March which will see him remain at St James’ Park until the summer of 2023.
The 28-year-old is held in very high regard by his teammates too, with Matt Ritchie insisting Shelvey has the potential to play for Barcelona while Danny Rose declared he would ‘pay money’ to watch the midfielder strut his stuff.
Shelvey says he intends to make the most of his ‘peak’ years at the highest level and help Newcastle kick on in the Premier League – whenever it does resume.
“I am 28 now and that is when players come into their peak. I have felt stronger and fitter in my body,” he explained.
“It has put me in a better place in terms of mindset. Long may it continue, I can progress and carry on kicking on.
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“I want to take this club as high up the table as possible. I want to enjoy my football for the last three or four years at the top level, I want to enjoy my time here.”
Newcastle are poised to be taken over by a group including Saudi Arabia’s royal family, which would put them among the richest clubs in the world.
Regardless of whether that happens, Shelvey believes the current squad is good enough to challenge for European qualification.
“I think we have the squad, there is some absolute quality in the dressing room,” he concluded.
“Every year teams add to their squads. I think there is enough in there to get to that bracket.”