Ashley Williams tips Shelvey to bounce back for Swansea City
ASHLEY Williams has backed Jonjo Shelvey to recover from his Liverpool lapses in time for Swansea City’s trip to Valencia.
Shelvey went from ecstasy to agony on Monday night as he put Swansea ahead before twice making mistakes which led to Liverpool goals.
But the former Reds player shook off that disappointment to have a major hand in Swansea’s equaliser.
Williams is familiar with the turmoil that follows major mistakes having made a couple of high-profile errors last season.
And he believes Shelvey has the mental strength to bounce back.
“For a 21-year-old, he’s got balls,” said Swansea’s skipper.
“He isn’t shy, and I think for a 21-year-old to play how he plays anyway shows he has courage. He is always getting on the ball, he never shies away from it.
“I just said ‘Don’t worry about it’ to him. I know more than anyone what it’s like to make a mistake so I wanted to get him to carry on with the game like normal.
“It happens, we all do that. The important thing is that he was always willing to get on the ball.
“I said at the time I thought it was a good signing for us. He’s added something I believe we haven’t had before at this club.
“I think someone who gets on the ball as much as he does is going to be a very exciting player for us.”
Williams’s short backpass allowed Steven Fletcher to net for Sunderland at the Liberty early last season.
And the defender’s weak header let Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke in to score in Swansea’s next game.
But the Wales international recovered from the errors to re-establish himself as a solid presence at the heart of Swansea’s back four.
So impressive were the former Stockport man’s performances that he was linked with a big-money move to Arsenal over the summer.
“Mistakes stick with you for a little while, but the good thing about football is you’ve always got a training session,” said Williams.
“The lads have already taken the Mickey out of Jonjo a little bit, but we’ve got a game Thursday and we’ve got a game Sunday.
“It won’t stay with him for too long, but it hurts at the time.
“They are honest mistakes, you can’t have a go at him. I’d rather have a go at someone who didn’t give 100 per cent.
“No-one’s blaming him, it was just one of those days.”
Shelvey had a dream start against his former club, putting Swansea ahead inside two minutes.
But just 99 seconds later Daniel Sturridge pounced on his loose backpass to level.
And another wayward Shelvey ball went to Victor Moses, who raced in from halfway to put Liverpool ahead at half-time.
Visibly rattled at the interval, Shelvey regained his composure to set up Michu for Swansea’s equaliser in the second period.
“It was a good first goal, he took it well, and he played a part in the second,” added Williams.
“He stayed on for the whole game, he got on with it, and he didn’t hide.
“I’ve made mistakes but not on that stage. With the whole country watching, against your old team, it doesn’t get any worse.
“He will definitely learn from it. I am sure he will. He probably learned in the game things he’ll take away.
“I thought fair play. We were all trying to talk to him, but he got on with it and just kept trying to play his game.”