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Magpie Hoping To Keep His Shirt For Burnley On Sunday

It’s been a very frustrating time for Matt Ritchie over the past few seasons at Newcastle. The 31-year-old has endured two seasons in which he’s missed a massive chunk due to a serious injury. He’s also had issues getting on the pitch after being an ever-present figure over his first three seasons on Tyneside.

Ritchie suffered a serious ankle injury early last season that kept him out for four months. Though he did return to play in all but 2 league games, 11 of which he started. However, this season has been quite different for the fiery winger.

It started with Ritchie being linked with a return to Bournemouth. The move never materialized but Ritchie was only on the bench during our first two league matches. Then Matt suffered a shoulder injury in his first league start which sidelined him for two months.

When he returned, he made 5 starts in December and January but Newcastle were in the midst of a torrid run. Steve Bruce refused to let Ritchie rejoin Bournemouth during the winter window and from mid-January to the 1-1 draw against Wolves, Ritchie didn’t get on the pitch for 8 matches.

Bruce brought Ritchie on as a substitute against Wolves. The head coach decided to switch the system and sent Matt on with instructions. However, Wolves quickly equalized soon after the change. After the match, Bruce unwisely blurted out that Ritchie hadn’t got his instructions on quick enough.

What happened in training the next week has been well documented as the two had a bust-up. Ritchie hadn’t made an appearance since until Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Tottenham where he put in a monstrous performance on the left.

Bruce brought Ritchie back in as he shifted to a 5-3-2. It worked wonders as both Ritchie and Jacob Murphy, playing on the right, got down the flanks to get balls into the box.

Ritchie has given an interview to NUFC TV today in which he was asked about Sunday’s draw and the rest of the season.

This was Ritchie’s response when asked if Sunday was a step forward:

“I think so. I think it was a good performance. Obviously, a change of system suited us against a very good team.

“It was a good performance and a point. Hopefully, it’s a good point.”

Newcastle did enough to win the match against a Spurs side who weren’t at their best. Except for the spell following Joelinton’s goal where Harry Kane grabbed two quick goals, Newcastle were in the ascendancy for much of the match.

Ritchie played a big part in both goals. For the first, he intercepted a poor pass from the back and got the ball to Sean Longstaff. The midfielder played a superb pass to Joelinton, who put it in the back of the net.

For the second, it was Ritchie’s deep cross that Joelinton headed back across the box which eventually Joe Willock blasted off the underside of the crossbar for the dramatic equalizer.

The overall performance was a stark cry for the one at Brighton just two weeks before. Ritchie was asked about the difference in mentality between the two matches but he preferred to concentrate on the positives from Spurs saying the following:

“They were different games. I don’t think you can compare them to one another.

“I think we played with intensity. What we did do well was we pressed and played with intensity when we had the ball. I thought we played with real purpose.”

It was Ritchie’s first start since early January. He benefitted from the change of system to include wing-backs. It’ll be very interesting to see if Bruce keeps with the formation this weekend.

Ritchie had the following response when asked about getting back into the team:

“Of course, I’ve been chomping at the bit to get back in. Worked hard in training and lucky enough got back in the team.

“Now I have to try and keep my shirt and perform. It’s the business end of the season now so performances need to be high.

“Hopefully, we can pick up points.”

To continue to pick up points, Newcastle need to cut out the drastic dips in performances like at Brighton. This inconsistency has plagued the team this season. Ritchie said the following about keeping a certain standard:

“The bare minimum every week is to work hard, play with desire and the mentality to win the game.

“As we found out, in the Premier League if you don’t do that and don’t have the quality as well then you won’t get results. I don’t think that is in question with the lads. We give everything week in week out. We’ve fallen short with the results.

“Hopefully, as I say, it’s the business end of the season and we can pick up some points on the run in over the next few weeks.”

Next on the docket is a trip to Turf Moor to take on Burnley. Newcastle won the home fixture 3-1 in early October, which Ritchie missed with his shoulder injury. That match saw a brace from Callum Wilson and a goal from Allan Saint-Maximin.

Allan returned against Spurs to spark the late rally. However, Wilson’s availability for Sunday is still unclear as he’s just returned to full training this week. It would be some boost to slot Wilson back in the upfront.

Ritchie was finally asked about the mood this week after the positive result over the weekend. The performance seems to have given the squad a lift as they prepare for Burnley on Sunday.

Here is Ritchie’s response about the current mood in the team:

“Of course it’s good. The performance was good at the weekend.

“We now look towards Burnley who we know are a good team. They have their philosophy, have their style. We’ll look to implement our style on them.”

How Will Newcastle Fare At Burnley On Sunday?

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280 comments so far

  • Optimistic prime

    Apr 7, 2021 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #1


    Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

    The fakeover and covid haven’t helped the mood amongst fans.

    I’d just prefer we upset him than each other.

    When he goes I’ll celebrate like we’ve won the FA Cup CL and EPL on the same day.

  • Optimistic prime

    Apr 7, 2021 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #2

    I’m going to vote for the Burnley result after the game, got right result against spuds using that method.

  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #3

    Got to admit i miss match days, especially the Saturday games.
    The midweek games when i was on nights was a bit of a slog, i have to be honest.
    Having to dash home sober then face work while the rest of the lads went to the club and rubbed my nose in it wasn`t good .
    If i was confident of the Saudi`s buying us i would apply for a ST knowing at least we would be shot of the leech and my money would be invested for the good of the club.
    AS it stands now, my money is staying in my pocket until he is history.
    I might never get to see my heroes live again, one way or the other.
    If its because the Arabs have bought us and tickets are like gold dust then that is just fine by me, however if it is the other scenario …..
    Ashley, do us all a favour a just take a hike to hell

  • Mister Tuff

    Apr 7, 2021 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #4

    What the hell is going on here!!!!!!!!!

    The missus is pregnant and in labour but the bloke gets the gas – to calm him down.

    What has happened to life as we knew it??

    Ya big tart.

  • Just a fan

    Apr 7, 2021 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #5

    Just wait for the thumbs up thingy then you know its over.
    Until the next time.

  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 7, 2021 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #6


    Our commitment to you

    – A club that will work with supporters on fan issues and will recognise their value as the long term custodians of the club;

    – A club that will work with our MPs, the City Council and local businesses to play its part in regenerating our area rather than simply billboarding a national sports retailer;

    – A club that will work with local football clubs and schools to develop local talent and keep that talent in the North East;

    – A club that says we can compete, we will compete, we don’t reward mediocrity, we strive for excellence and to be the best we can be in everything we do.

    So, they have been around almost as long as Ashley, and in that time, how many of their commitments have they met?


  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 7, 2021 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #7

    If we really want to change the way things are, we need Ultras.

  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #8

    But join up anyway, its only a quid

  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 7, 2021 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #9


    Send me a quid.

    I promise to send you an email every now and then.

    Same goes for the rest of you.
    Should net me a tidy sum.

  • bettyswallocks

    Apr 7, 2021 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #10

    Cleveleys Bob…….Was just wondering if you finally went ahead and replaced your curtains with blinds?
    I’ve always thought therewas something traditionally romantic about waking up of a morning and opening the curtains. ( Not beef ).

  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #11


    Can’t disagree with you there.

  • bettyswallocks

    Apr 7, 2021 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #12

    My mate just got new curtains since I told him the last time I saw curtains like that they played a tune and burned my grandad.

  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #13


    A quid is sod all i know but i would rather spend £200 if i thought it would help get rid of the leech.
    Are there any wealthy posters on here who could start the ball rolling lol

  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #14

    I know one thing, if ever we do get decent owners, and the Toon is OPEN, you won`t see anything like the atmosphere it will generate.

  • lesh

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #15

    Tackle from behind

    NUST have achieved none of its commitments because they’re only achievable with the cooperation and similar commitments from The Club.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #16

    I think there’d be just as big a party if he fell off his boat in a particularly shark infested part of the Caribbean.

  • Optimistic prime

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #17

    Do Shark eat cabbages?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #18

    That Saturday night game against Lpool and the Good Friday night against Leeds, they were something else, on it all day and no work in the morning, the ground was buzzing, even half five kick offs on the Saturday are good.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #19

    I think they’d nibble on them enough to trim it down to a sprout.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #20

    I stopped being a member because of their stance on protests but I think you’re being a bit harsh on them to be fair.

  • Optimistic prime

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #21

    I remember when we beat the mackems 5 1, I was so drunk I fell down the stairs celebrating in the ground at half time.

    Didn’t feel a thing, until the next day!

  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #22


    Exactly – Ashley couldn’t care less, just another entity for him to laugh at.

  • lesh

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #23

    Ritchie Hope’s to get a game against Burnley? Hopes shouldn’t come into it – he should be one of the first names on the team-sheet along with Murphy and dare I say it, Joelinton.

    Shearer gave Joelinton high praise after the Spurs game and via the Chronic, has given Bruceboy some pointers on how to attack Burnley though whether the master tactician takes them on-board is another matter – after all, he’s had years of management whereas Shearer…..

    But, if Bruceyboy’s defining the game-plan and picking the team, gawd only knows what he’ll come up with.

  • lesh

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #24


    And Ashley’s been around for near years and unless he’s bought out, nowt’ll change for the better.

  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #25


    I really miss it, i would love to go back, but i won`t .
    I look back at all the cracking games iv`e seen up there and it makes me angry to think it has come to this, i just hope i might get a sniff of a ticket for a one off cup game in the future if i don`t get a ST.
    I was at the Barco game, the Manure 5-0 , Sheff Wed 8-0 . Crazy games.
    Wonderful memories.

  • Optimistic prime

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #26

    Best match day drinking I had, wasn’t at the match.

    Couldn’t get a ticket for the Arsenal Fa Cup game so a few of us went to Amsterdam.

    They showed the final on a huge screen at the main square with all the bars, we didn’t know until we got there.

    100s of Newcastle fans there, outside drinking and smoking the herb all day and night.

    Mad, like there was a away game in Amsterdam.

    Shit result, excellent day of drinking, making new pals and supporting Nufc, one of my favourite match/game memories.

  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #27

    One of my first away games going with pals was Man City at Maine Road.
    Think it was 84.
    We won 2-1, when we scored both our goals the Citeh fans through so many coins , every Toon fan got the equivalent of a free pint full of change.
    Cheers all you Maine Roaders 🙂

  • Mund

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #28
  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #29

    Funniest Match Day for me.

    I was living in London and my brother came down for a visit.
    Newcastle had an away game at Luton – FA cup 4th round – but it was at the time when Luton didn’t allow away fans.

    We both thought that rule was for league games only, so we jumped in my Rover Vitesse and drove up to Luton.
    Got to the ground and went to the ticket office and got told the bad news – no away fans at all for all games.

    We stood near the ticket office for a bit deciding what to do next when a chef walked by carrying a tray of pies – seeing us both with shirt and scarfs on, he stopped to chat.
    Turns out he was from Bishop Auckland and worked down there for the club catering. He told us to come back to a side door he pointed out just before kick off.

    We went for a pint or three and came back at 2.55
    We stood by the door till 3.10 ish and nothing happened – just about to walk away when the door swung open and there was matey ushering us in.
    We walked through a catering area, out into a corridor to another door. When he opened this door, we were straight out onto the concourse mid way up the side terrace – “just go find a free seat he said”.

    The ground was half empty but people were still coming in legitimately, so we sat down in a free row.
    No one challenged us — so we just watched the game.
    After about 10 minutes my brother noticed a small throng of about 20 blokes behind the goal with no one else near them except coppers and stewards – then we realised why.
    They were all Newcastle fans.

    At the time, Luton’s ground was open all round so you could wander anywhere, so we got up and made our way to behind the goal.
    Again, unchallenged, we just walked up and sat among the blokes, said hello and explained how we got in and asked them the same.
    All of them were working and living locally and had managed to beg or borrow a locals membership card to get a ticket.

    So we had the rest of the game, in the end about 30 of us, surrounded by about 20 coppers and a dozen stewards – we sang songs, barracked the Luton fans, had banter with the coppers, waved our scarves about and got the attention and waves from some players and had a right laugh.

    After the game, we were held back until the ground emptied and then shown out – my brother and I and 5 others went on to make a night of it in Luton.

    I wonder if anyone here was there that day – you would definitely remember.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:47 PM

    Comment #30

    Shearer should 100% be working with our strikers on the training pitch. It’s criminal how this is over looked.

  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 7, 2021 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #31


    File that one under Ashley’s Fault as well.

  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 7, 2021 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #32

    There has been no interaction for 10 minutes.

    Do you want to close down?

    YES ___ NO ____

  • jane

    Apr 7, 2021 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #33

    we don’t trust you will send us regular emails.

  • jane

    Apr 7, 2021 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #34

    Norwich doing much better than Ipswich these days.

  • jane

    Apr 7, 2021 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #35

    “We won 2-1, when we scored both our goals the Citeh fans through so many coins”

    there is a spelling mistake.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 7, 2021 at 7:28 PM

    Comment #36

    Maine Road was weird being – away fans were stuck in the side along side the Man City supporters. All things flew back and forwards when I was there – very little football watched.
    Worst ground for me was Goodison Park if as you were in the lower tier at the back – couldn’t see a bloody thing

  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 7, 2021 at 7:31 PM

    Comment #37

    If Kets is in fantasy land then Mund hàs the keys to his own full blown Disneyland theme park.

  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 7:35 PM

    Comment #38


    Well spotted, my bad

  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #39

    Charlie in the Gallowgate,

    Were you at Maine Road in 84?
    It was a strange place for away fans to be put but i wasn`t fussed really, we got the win , and the bus ride home was brill.
    Never been to Goodison mate. Seen videos of Toon fans in the ground and you are right, really bad location for away fans.

  • Scythe For Bruce

    Apr 7, 2021 at 7:41 PM

    Comment #40

    Chancel Mbemba starting for Porto against Chelsea in twenty minutes. It’ll be interesting to see how he does.

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