Matt Ritchie is quickly becoming a real fan favorite on Tyneside and he scored his first goal of the season with a penalty last night against Reading and he put it away in great style.
The way we opened the Championship season was unthinkable – two successive defeats to Huddersfield Town and Fulham, but last night the team looked good in the second half and we got our first win.
Matt Ritchie – that’s why Rafa is the manager
Ritchie feels the influence of Rafa Benitez in training and in analyzing the team’s performances is starting to pay dividends:
“We certainly didn’t lose the first two and just wonder why.” “We analysed, the manager analysed, and that’s why the manager is the manager – because he’s so good at it.”
“The way we analysed, we worked hard during the week on some triggers and we showed in our play that we looked like we had good structure in attack.”
“We built attacks well, we counter-attacked well as well.”
“All in all it was a very good performance, but it’s very early days.” “It’s 3 points, but we need to go again on Saturday because Bristol are a good side.”
“Everyone around the football club knew the expectation, and it’s only human nature to feel that.”
“It’s how you deal with it and I thought we dealt with it.” “There were some big question marks over us after not winning the first two games, and we’ve answered those, hopefully.”
“It’s going in the right direction, and hopefully we can continue to win games.”
“Games come thick and fast and it’s great, especially when you’re on the back of a win when confidence will be high.”
“We need to work hard in training and go there (Ashton Gate) and put in a good performance.”
And it gets no easier for Newcastle and they will have to be ready for a monumental battle on Saturday with the news that the h=game at Bristol City will be played in front of the biggest crowd at Ashton Gate for more than 20 years.
The redevelopment of Ashton Gate stadium was started two years and it was finished before the start of this season and the new renovations resulted in an increased capacity up to 27,000 fans; the stadium is shared with the rugby team.
21,000 tickets have been sold so far and the full away allocation of 2,500 tickets have been snapped up by Newcastle fans.
Bristol City would like nothing better than to beat Newcastle on Saturday and we must get our act together quickly in the first 45 minutes.