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Newcastle manager unconcerned by Shelvey absence

Rafael Benitez is confident Newcastle can cope without banned midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.

Shelvey will be suspended for five matches. Credit: PA

The 24-year-old, an influential figure in the Toon's rise to the top of the Championship, has been suspended for five matches following his unsavoury confrontation with Wolves midfielder Romain Saiss.

Shelvey decided not to appeal against the FA misconduct charge, which also saw him fined £100,000 and ordered to attend a mandatory education course.

The ban will start immediately, kicking off with the Boxing Day game against Sheffield Wednesday, but Magpies manager Benitez says he has players who can fill the void.

The former Liverpool and Chelsea manager said:

"We know that we will not have him for the next five games and that's it. How big a loss will it be? I will tell you after five matches - but we have enough options.

Obviously it will be different, we can not hide this, but still we have some good players and we can manage."

Shelvey considering whether to appeal FA fine and ban

Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is considering his options after receiving the written reasons for his failed attempt to defend a Football Association misconduct charge.

Shelvey has been hit with a £100,000 fine and five match ban. Credit: PA

Press Association Sport understands the 24-year-old midfielder and the Magpies are now in possession of the relevant documents and they now have seven days in which to lodge an to appeal.

Shelvey was handed a five-game ban and a £100,000 fine on Tuesday for an aggravated breach of of rule E3(1) after being charged with "using abusive and/or insulting words towards an opponent" which "included reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality".

The charge related to an incident in the 87th minute of the Newcastle's 2-0 Sky Bet Championship defeat by Wolves at St James' Park on September 17 and is understood to have involved an exchange with the visitors' Moroccan midfielder Romain Saiss.

Should Shelvey and his advisers decide to appeal, he would be available for the Boxing Day clash with Sheffield Wednesday and thereafter until the case was heard, with the sanction having been set aside by the FA until the process is completed.

However, should he opt not to challenge the decision, the punishment would start immediately.

The FA too has a right of appeal if, after examining the written reasons, it feels the length of ban and/or the size of the fine are inappropriate.

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Newcastle and Derby continue Championship charge

Newcastle moved back to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table with a 2-0 victory over struggling Wigan.

Former Latics midfielder Mohamed Diame scored the opening goal in the 26th minute and Christian Atsu made sure of the points 12 minutes from time.

Christian Atsu came off the bench to score. Credit: PA

The victory restored Newcastle's one-point lead over Brighton, who beat Blackburn on Tuesday.

Derby moved into the play-off places after Tom Ince's late goal earned them a 1-0 victory over QPR. The in-form midfielder struck with four minutes left at Loftus Road.

Nottingham Forest and Preston shared the points at the City Ground in a 1-1 draw.

Simon Makienok opened the scoring for the visitors in first-half injury time but a Chris Maxwell own goal earned Forest a point.

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