Jonjo Shelvey says he “adores” Steve McClaren and is hoping the beleaguered Newcastle United boss is still in charge for Monday’s Premier League trip to Leicester City.
Shelvey was handed the captain’s armband by McClaren for the past two games with Fabricio Coloccini injured, but failed to inspire the Magpies with both matches – away at Stoke City and at home to AFC Bournemouth – ending in defeat.
Saturday’s loss to Bournemouth has prompted a fresh wave of speculation surrounding McClaren’s future with the former England boss expected to be sacked with reports in Spain suggesting Rafael Benitez is in talks to replace him.
Shelvey, a January arrival from Swansea, is hoping McClaren is given more time to try to drag Newcastle out of the relegation zone.
He told Sky Sports News: “Obviously it’s a sticky situation we are in at the moment. And he [McClaren] is at the forefront and he doesn’t deserve that.
“We have to play for him while he’s still in charge. Hopefully he’ll stay in charge and we’ll win on Monday night.”
McClaren has continued to take training this week and Shelvey says the atmosphere within the squad has been positive.
He added: “At the end of the day, you’re getting paid loads of money to do your job. It’s your job to keep away from the rumours that go around. You can never believe them until it happens. We’ve been very professional and training has been fun.”
Shelvey admitted being named skipper makes McClaren’s situation even more difficult to bear.
“I feel as though I’ve let the club down as I’ve had the armband twice and we’ve lost both games,” he said.
“The manager put a lot of faith in me and I adore him for that.
“There are two types of players, those who hide and those who come to the forefront. The way I am I come to the forefront. Everyone needs to be like that.
“The players have let the club down. I don’t feel as though the manager has, it’s the players.”