Matt Ritchie picked up a virus and was declared unfit to play in the home game against Brentford on Saturday, but that didn’t stop him pleading with Rafa to play in the game, but the Newcastle doctor, Paul Catterson, ruled him out.
And apparently on Monday morning Matt was back in Benitez’s office saying he wanted to play at Barnsley tonight and in fact he has been declared fit for tonight’s game.
It looks like Matt is keen to play for Newcastle.
Matt Ritchie – keen to play for Newcastle
But it also shows the strength in depth Rafa has managed to build in the Newcastle squad when he was able to play Christian Atsu in place of Matt.
The Newcastle gaffer has said this in the Chronicle today when asked if Matt Ritchie is the type of player he wants to bring to the club:
“Yeah I think so. He’s a great example for the others in terms of his attitude in the way he approaches every training session and every game.”
“He is desperate to play. He puts me under pressure, but it’s nice pressure.”
“That has to be the way because you are looking for players who can see what it means to play for this big club.”
“And they want to perform in every game, give everything in matches and training sessions.”
“Murphy had a full session and is good. Jamaal and Matt are fine too. We are improving.”
“I am really pleased – it’s magnificent. The fans are doing really well.”
“It’s still the same message from me, hopefully, they are behind the team and behind the players because that is a key factor for us.”
“Not just for one game, but for the whole season.”
Matt is what my late mother would have called “a lovely lad.”
The official number of Newcastle fans traveling to tonight’s game at Oakwell is 5,900, and we hope the lads can reward the fans with another win – which would be our 4th in a row.
The game is also being shown live back at St. James’ Park and around 2,000 fans are expected to watch the game tonight.
We need another win.