Matt Ritchie joined us in the summer of 2016 and was the first to leave a Premier League club (Bournemouth) to join second division Newcastle.
He was joined by Dwight Gayle who joined us from Crystal Palace.
While we were hot favorites for instant promotion you never know in football, so he took a risk by joining Newcastle.
Some players with us when we were relegated didn’t want to take the risk or play in the second division.
We had Georginio Wijnaldum, Daryl Janmaat, Andros Townsend and Moussa Sissoko leave the club to join Premier League clubs.
Matt Ritchie – we have had to change our mentality when we’ve lost
Matt has been an excellent buy for us, and he epitomizes the Geordie spirit and is well liked by the fans.
We are now just 5 points from our target of 40 points this season.
Matt has been interviewed in the Shields Gazette today and talks about the last two years:
“Outside the top six, I think there are four or five clubs you look at and think they’ve got too much to go down, but for the rest, it’s a fight,”
“You have to win the fight before you start to play.” “I think the Southampton game was a good team performance.”
“We pressed, we were energetic and we sort of won the battle and then in the latter stages of the game you saw that we could play as well.”
“It’s a tough, tough league, as everyone knows. It’s the best league in the world. It’s that for a reason, and it’s not going to be easy.”
“I’ve really enjoyed it,”
“Last year was mission complete, job done for the Championship. Obviously, the manager stayed to get us back in the Premier League, and that happened.”
“That was great. “This season has been a different test, a completely different test, where we went from being the favorites to the underdogs.”
“You have to react differently to weekends. You get beat on a Saturday sometimes in the Premier League, obviously, when you’re used to winning.”
“Everything changes. Your mentality changes in terms of how you deal with a defeat and how you deal with setbacks.”
“That’s been the biggest test this season. “We’ve actually done it quite well, as I think we’ve not actually been beaten a few games on the bounce.”
“So we’ve rose to that challenge, and it’s now in a position where it’s in our hands, and hopefully we can continue to win games, collect points and be fine.”
Matt has played 31 games this season with 2 goals and 5 assists and last season he played 48 times with a massive 16 goals and 9 assists.