Rafa Benitez ready to change approach at Newcastle – if Jonjo Shelvey is banned

Jonjo Shelvey

Jonjo Shelvey

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Rafa Benitez says he’ll have no qualms about fielding Jonjo Shelvey at Elland Road.

The Newcastle United midfielder has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association.

Shelvey is alleged to have used racially-aggravated language towards a Wolves player in September. The 24-year-old has pleaded not guilty to the charge. If it is proven, Shelvey could be banned for a number of games.

Asked about Shelvey, Mags manager Benitez said: “Jonjo’s fine. At the moment, it’s fine.”

Shelvey is available to play for the Championship leaders against Leeds United tomorrow, though Benitez wouldn’t be drawn on the allegations.

The Spaniard said: “I can’t say too much. We will have to wait.

He’s really important. He’s a player with quality who can make a difference in the games.

Rafa Benitez

“He’s really important. He’s a player with quality who can make a difference in the games.

“If he’s not available, we can use another one. We would have to change the way we approach the game a little bit.

“You could see the atmosphere in the training session was really good. Everyone was training well. All the players coming back from international duty were fine.”