Newcastle United manager Rafael Benítez has insisted that he has no issue with the behaviour of midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, as he looked to deny the handshake of the Spanish following his substitution in the 1-1 draw with Swansea City.
No problems with what he did
The tension of the situation could be felt as the clash got underway at St James' Park and having remained undefeated in their last three matches The Magpies would have been favourites, and it would have been expected that Shelvey would be one of the key cogs in guiding them to three points against his former employers.
It did however prove to be a frustrating afternoon both personally and on a whole for Shelvey under the watch of England manager Gareth Southgate, with Shelvey's only significant contribution coming with his missed free-kick in the opening period.
Shelvey was replaced by Mikel Merino with eight minutes much to his dismay as his disappointment was clear to see as he refused to shake the coach's hand as he took a place on the substitute bench, but when asked about the incident Benítez insisted that he didn't have "any problems" with his behaviour.
“When you are not winning a game like this one, it's so important, any player has to be disappointed if they do not continue playing," said Benitez.
"But we have to make the substitutions and that is it," he stated to the gathered press. “I didn’t have any problems with what he did.”
A lot of positives to take
Many inside St James' will have been left disappointed by the end result, especially considering the amount of chances that The Magpies had throughout the 90 minutes they could have quite easily sailed to a three or four goal advantage.
The likes of Ayoze Pérez, Dwight Gayle and Shevley had multiple chances to give their side the lead and were eventually punished with Jordan Ayew's opener on the hour mark, Joselu managed to save a point for the home side but certainly will feel a case of two points dropped but Benítez stated that there was a "lot of positives" to take from the clash.
“I liked the team in the first half, and the chances that we created," he said. “I was disappointed because we didn’t take the chances, and also to concede a goal in the way that we conceded the goal, but I was quite happy with the reaction of the team."
“We were very positive, and had a real intensity and determination to try to score," the Spaniard reflected. “We were trying to win the game, but I didn’t like the last five minutes when we were making some wrong decisions and giving them the chance to get a counter-attack."
“There were a lot of positives, and some negatives that we have to correct as soon as possible," the coach proclaimed. "It would be worse if we were not creating chances, the way that we were working, and the chances we were creating, means that we can do it."
“We have to carry on doing that, and maybe create more chances if we want to be sure that we go ahead," Benítez concluded. “But we could have scored.”