Jonjo Shelvey has admitted he is seeing a psychologist in a bid to curb the anger which is threatening to blight his career.
The 25-year-old Newcastle midfielder, who served a five-match ban last season for allegedly racially abusing Wolves counterpart Romain Saiss, was sent off on his return to the Premier League on Sunday after stamping on Tottenham’s Dele Alli.
Shelvey, who was also dismissed at Nottingham Forest last season for kicking out at Henri Lansbury only to have the red card rescinded later, apologised to his team-mates after the game as television pundits and fans queued up to condemn his behaviour.
Speaking in an interview conducted on Friday, but not published until Monday, he told the Daily Mail: “Look, sometimes I just need to rein it in on the football pitch. I need to just shut up and stuff. I need to not get involved and walk away.
“I started to see a psychologist last year to work on the mental side of things. It was after the Forest game. I was sent off. I had kicked out at this lad and it was just childish.
“When people wind me up, I should just laugh. I do need to get that out of me. Sometimes you can’t help it.
“I started to work with this fella and after that, there wasn’t really an incident when I did that. I started to learn to keep my head down and just get on with the game. But it’s an ongoing process and I am still working with him.
“Sometimes I can lose my head and it can’t keep happening.”
However, Shelvey did just that four minutes into the second half of Sunday’s game and referee Andre Marriner sent him off, in the process ending any chance of a positive result for the promoted side.
Goals from Alli and Ben Davies eventually secured victory for Spurs to leave manager Rafael Benitez bemoaning his captain’s indiscipline.