‘It was hard to watch’ – Shelvey opens up on World Cup disappointment

Jonjo Shelvey says he found it hard to watch England at the World Cup this summer after missing out on the squad that reached the semi-finals.

The midfielder has six England caps to date, with his last appearance coming against France at Wembley in 2015.

Many felt that England were missing a creative spark in midfield and Shelvey has admitted that he felt he could have had a positive impact on Gareth Southgate’s side this summer.

He told Sky Sports: “It’s hard to sit there and watch because you want your country to do well but you want to be there at the same time.

“But you’ve just got to get behind them and support them.

“I could have brought something to the team. But I’m not going to sit here and criticise the people that played because they did fantastically well.

“Gareth Southgate has the right to pick whoever he wants. You get people saying that England could have done with that final ball but there’s nothing you can change, you have to get on with it and hopefully be selected in the future.”

Shelvey, 26, had been tipped to feature with England this summer, with midfield being the one area where Southgate was slightly short on numbers, but the Newcastle man says he didn’t hear anything from the England boss in the build-up to the tournament.

“I didn’t hear anything in the summer from Gareth Southgate, no call when the squad came out,” Shelvey added.

“I was on the golf course in Portugal and I had a missed call from a private number. I don’t know if it was him. The squad got announced and that was it.”

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The former Liverpool and Swansea midfielder started Newcastle’s Premier League opener against Tottenham last Saturday and says that a return to the England set-up is one of his priorities for this season.

“That’s my goal, there is nothing better playing for your country at Wembley in front of all of those people with your family there,” he said. “It gives you goosebumps. But it’s something I’ve got to work towards this year, keep my head down and try my hardest to get there.

“My first goal this season is to cement my place in the Newcastle team. My second goal is to do as well as we can, and obviouslythe third is to try and break into the England team.”

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