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Bruce Heaps The Praise On Magpie Who ‘Forces His Way Into Your Team’

We were a bit surprised to see Matt Ritchie get the nod ahead of Valentino Lazaro yesterday. Not least of which because he was suffering from a knock that Steve Bruce had mentioned during Friday’s press conference.

The 30-year-old recovered in the nick of time and put in a strong performance in the 3-0 win against Sheffield. He bagged his first goal of this campaign, which has been a frustrating one for him.

While Ritchie was afforded far to much space to launch his shot, his goal was the vital second one that gave the lads some breathing room yesterday.

Steve Bruce spoke to NUFC TV after yesterday’s magnificent win and explained the circumstances surrounding Ritchie’s inclusion in the team:

“He’s trained for the last two or three days. He’s had a slight strain but trained magnificently for the past two or three weeks, so it was all about him really, if he’s right.

“Thankfully, he was right, and if there’s a better pro around than Matt Ritchie, I’ve yet to see him. He forces his way into your team sheet because of his attitude.”

With the next match coming up on Wednesday, we expect Bruce to rotate the squad. However, Lazaro could find it very difficult to unseat Ritchie even on short rest.

Matt provides such intangibles with his passion and experience, we suspect that he’s recaptured the right-wing role for now.

Ritchie also spoke the NUFC TV after the victory yesterday. He’s not resting on his laurels as he’s looking towards the Aston Villa match on Wednesday and climbing the table.

“Certainly not job done. We need to continue.

“We can now hopefully start looking up the table and not so much over our shoulder and try and finish as high as we possibly can.

“I think the mentality and desire to continue to move the ball, keep the ball, in the second half. We can take that into the next eight games, I think it is.”

8 comments so far

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jun 22, 2020 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #1


    On paper from the outside it will no doubt be cast as ungrateful Toon fans moaning when Ashley has left us In a “great position” but there has been plenty of papering over the cracks

  • geordietom

    Jun 22, 2020 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #2

    i reckon bruce played ritchie yesterday because ritchie threatened to slap him like he does when players score …

  • Zele

    Jun 22, 2020 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #3


    I agree with you that the switch to a back four has made all the difference.

    It’s allowed our more creative players to shine.

    I thought Rose looked in better shape.

    All our players looked in good shape whereas the Sheffield players didn’t look very sharp at times. Could this be because it was their second competitive game ? I guess we will discover on Wednesday against Villa.

  • the crown princes nashers

    Jun 22, 2020 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #4


    aye hes a bit of a tough nut 🙂

  • the crown princes nashers

    Jun 22, 2020 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #5

    bugger if the real buses were as on time as this blogs buses 🙂 its obvious someones drinking heineken beer 🙂

  • archaeomag

    Jun 22, 2020 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #6

    @ED’s mandrax is worn off again

    @hibbitt @tom etc from awabackaway
    It’s an interesting question – perhaps one for a late night discussion, – but I could not possibly comment, as I said, I really don’t have the information or the skill set, and I am here to learn from others ?
    Live archaeomag – the Geordie Archaeologist? is coming as soon as I can learn Chinese & translate the manual on me new webcam – there are so many letter ffs.

  • Geordie-john

    Jun 22, 2020 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #7

    Matt Ritchie is well worth a spot in the first team any day of the week. Not just for yesterdays performance but he ( with the exception of one or two games ) gives his all for NUFC. He deserved his goal and assist for the first goal. Not taking anything away from Valentino Lazaro as he is a tremendous player but Matt in my eyes is proven.
    Well done MR.

  • archaeomag

    Jun 22, 2020 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #8

    ““I think the mentality and desire to continue to “move the ball, keep the ball,” . . .”
    A little insight there I think . .


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