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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

  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #41

    You look at Man City then and now, then you look at us , ffs πŸ™

  • Mund

    Apr 7, 2021 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #42

    Cheers RH I’ll take that πŸ™‚ tickets are expensive but I could do you a deal fella :thumb up thingy:

  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #43

    Been to Barnsley 3 times over the years , never seen us win once.
    I remember one game they had a forward called Currie, think his first name was David, absolutely tortured us.

  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #44


    similar situation to Taclke nut with dark undertones

    Son and i finished a friendly 5-A-side at local sports centre at about 10:00 this Saturdayand I had brain wave of driving down to Grimsby about 2 hours away for match.

    Loads of Toon gans around after a quick pastie headed up to ground.

    Near to ground and saw queues were forming in one for away end i spotted some lads i used to know from work and who now lived in Hull.

    They beckoned me over and they were wanting to know how I had managed to get tickets from where i lived

    What!? it’s a league game I cried

    yes but it was made all ticket due to expected crowd problems

    Someone in queue who i didn’t know said look there’s loads about without tickets from Newcastle and it wouldn’t surprise me if Police advise them to open a cash turnstile – other fans in similar situation as us thought this would have to happen and we all began asking stewards if there was a cash turnstile.

    This was in standing days

    Sure enough with hundreds already milling about clearly ticketless a cash turnstile was eventally opened and a mass jam formed to get in that one entry

    We got in away end with about half an hour to go and got good spot on terraces for my son who was in mid teensand not particularly tall. However it became increasingly clear that away end was going to soon be at capacity and probably beyond

    So i said we best move to back of terrace as having been away with mates and drink involved being on away terraces could get lively and we duly did

    I wa so glad because down to our right a “mob” burst through a corner between our terrace and a side home stand.

    Lots of claims that they had been locked out and burst through an unmanned gate when a roar at opening goal by Grimsby had gone in.

    Police and stewards had no choice but to channel them behind goal and the barriers and then on to our terrace which was already getting congested

    If i was worried at numbers on terrace and the commotion when Sheedy equalised – fear and elation it was nothing to what came after match.

    It was everyman and child for himself in getting out of ground with not all gates open and fans pouring down off terrace into a funnel underneath stand and then a dog leg turn into back of stand with metal supports partially blocking way forward which was completely jammed and more pressure coming from tunnel we had come through

    Fans comimg down from stand had no idea what was in front of and round corner from them and people jammed underneath stand were shouting at police lined up on a metal staircase at back of stand and above the melee to do something.

    They shrugged or laughed and when I finally got us out several fans were already remonstrating with the police at gates for their lack of foresight in controlling the exit of what was clearly an excessive crowd

    This was only a few years after Hillsbrough and very frightening and my worst ever experience in a football crowd

  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #45


    Sounds a bit of a nervy situation there, was your son still keen to go to games after that experience

  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #46


    Been in similar crush situations many times at away games, places like Millwall’s Den, West Ham’s Upton Park, QPR, & Watford all come to mind – and the police were disgraceful and often abusive for no reason.

    One time at New Cross Gate underground, on a packed platform, train in the station with all doors closed – a police dog handler lost his rag and just unleashed his dog which pounced into a squashed mob of fans – next thing you know the dog was flying through the air over the train.

    Going to a match had so many dangers back then.

    Remember wooden terraces and stands that used to move with the crowd sways.

  • Moonraker15

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #47

    Talking about funny match days, me and a mate were working in London in the early 80’s and we got tickets for a league game at Fulham. Anyway we went down soho first, got on the beer and finished up that night in the wrong hotel absolutely skint, with only vague memories of how we got there!
    Good times though!

  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:09 PM

    Comment #48

    The match that comes up after that video ( 1993) was actually the match I referred to in chatting with Bob earlier when i was in Corporate part of stand courtsey of the then Grimsby Chairman who i duly met through a mate who had got me the tickets

    Briliant night but out of respect I had to keep my mouth shut when the goals went in and we became champions

    Afterwards it was celebration city as Toon cars and fans weaved around Cleethorpes hooting horns and waving scarves – what a difference to just over a year previous

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #49

    No – went to few away games in 80s – most of my away days were the very late 60s through the 70’s – a mad time to be following the Toon

  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:17 PM

    Comment #50


    Didn’t get to loads of matches but living in North Yorkshire we managed to get to several around like Boro, Leeds, Barnsley, Notts County but never like that afternoon in Grimsby

    Yes away fans ( just as those coming to the toon from other clubs) were treated worse than cattle

  • Geordie-john

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:20 PM

    Comment #51


  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:21 PM

    Comment #52


    yep he was young and been to several home games in big crowds on Gallowgate and took it in his stride.

    We just didn’t mention to his mam

    He was more worried the following year at Grimsby when we were introduced to Chaiman that my Geordie accent would get us chucked out of what was home stand haha

    Those KK years were fantastic time for young fans to learn what being aToon fan was all about

  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:28 PM

    Comment #53


    It certainly was a good time to be a young Toon fan in the KK years, both when he was a player then manager.
    Feel sorry for the young uns now though having to witness this shower of shite.

  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #54


    You are a tad older than me mate, i missed the late 60`s and the Fairs cup win , would love to see us win something, im 57 and still waiting.

  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:31 PM

    Comment #55


    yeah moving stands πŸ™‚

    What was more unnerving was the stand at Old Trafford for the semi’s in 98 and 99 against Sheff u then Spurs

    A massive concrete structure that was actually bending as the fans bounced and sang throughout.

    When we scored and the crowd leapt as one I truly didn’t believe the stand could have been tested for that particular concerted pressure (certainly not the Man U library which mormally graced it) – thought i’d be part of a story about the tragic collapse of a stand

    Against Spurs following year similar and even though I’d survived previous year I was still nervous as the stand once again bowed and crowd sang gleefully ” we’ve got it bouncing” ;-0

  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:36 PM

    Comment #56

    I was at Old Trafford for the Sheff U game, Jeez, that stand took some pounding mind.
    I bet it took a huge sigh of relief when we left

  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #57

    I remember Charlton’s Valley Parade had an away stand that was old and decrepit and visibly moved in the wind.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:42 PM

    Comment #58

    Fairs Cup run was something else
    From turning Feyrnood over 4-0 at home through the blizzard Against Vittora Setubal the madness of the Rangers fans running across the pitch and 3-0 up first leg of the final to be hanging on in the second leg until Bobby Moncur steps up
    Brilliant time to be a football mad teenager

  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #59

    Tackle/ WL

    Scary but memorable times – modern cosseted fans taking their seats just as Ref whistles don’t realise what they are missing πŸ™‚

  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:46 PM

    Comment #60


    It’s a bad time for modern generation to be making their memories πŸ™

  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:47 PM

    Comment #61

    Aye, I think the taylor report probably saved the lives of a few people – who went on to be snowflakes LOL

  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:50 PM

    Comment #62


    Probably but nowhere near as big as mine

  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #63


    It was unbelievable lol.

  • jon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #64

    Tackle @57

    You need to make sure everybody doesn’t fart at the same time then!


  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:54 PM

    Comment #65


    Most of us went further than that !!!

  • Wor B

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #66

    Lol. just caught up.


    You can come back now, that hand grenade you chucked didn’t go off after all.


  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:58 PM

    Comment #67


    You are lucky to have witnessed something like that being a Toon fan tbh lol.
    Alan Foggon was a member of that team in 69, he gets in my local and he hates talking about the Fairs Cup.
    He`s probably sick of talking about it over the years of fans wanting the story

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #68

    Very true!!!!
    European night games WERE something else

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:02 PM

    Comment #69

    Foggon was so slim those days!!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:08 PM

    Comment #70

    Oh dear πŸ™„

  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:10 PM

    Comment #71

    What about the Newcastle v Barcelona game in 97 – Asprilla’s hattrick.

    What a game that was.

    I was in the opposite end and missed all 3 with all the jumping about.

  • magicmac54

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:14 PM

    Comment #72

    Tackle from@57

    Good evening Tackle lad, i think Valley Parade was the name of Bradford Citys old stadium where the terrible fire happened, but Charlton Athletic play at the valley.

  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:20 PM

    Comment #73


    You’re right – my mix up there it was indeed just The Valley

    Thank God you noticed – hopefully the catalyst for Ashley’s departure.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:21 PM

    Comment #74

    I was in a bar in Salou with my boss who I bet a night’s wages with. We went to Barcelona vs PSV in the same group at the Nou Camp.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:27 PM

    Comment #75

    I ended up staying in Eindhoven that winter and I was there when we played at SJP and back home when we played them there, although I did go to a PSV league game. Never forget the big heaters hanging down from the roof, can’t remember who it was against or even the score.

  • magicmac54

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:28 PM

    Comment #76

    Guys its very enjoyable reading all your different experiences of all the games you have attended. The last game i was at was the year we should have won the league, and i think it was at easter at Blackburn, i met Graham Fenton`s mum and dad before the match, he was playing for Blackburn that night, sadly it didn`t end well that night.

  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:29 PM

    Comment #77


    haha at that game somehow managed to snap my shoe whilst in my seat ( and out of it) in Gallowgate celebrating Aprilla’s goals .

    Nearly tripped and fell down stairs on way out and after trying to tie lace around sole to keep it on gave up and hobbled with one shoe on across to Car Park near Manors

    Couldn’t have cared less and even after Barcelona scored 2 in 2cnd half just knew it was our night

    Ahh Memories and how we have fallen on hard times.

    No matter there are still some golden moments maybe few and far between but they are there and to be savoured

  • magicmac54

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:31 PM

    Comment #78

    Tackle from

    No problem Tackle its not often you make a mistake lad, in fact your like master mind on this blog, as well as being a comedian at times πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:31 PM

    Comment #79


    haha as I recall there were a lot of toon fans would have liked to have met Graham Fenton after match but may be not his parents

  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:37 PM

    Comment #80


    I was in Barcelona with my 2 sons on holiday about 12 years back and saw that there was an El Classico game on, I saw a sign on a ticket booth at the top of Las Ramblas advertising tickets available.

    I suggested that we go, the boys were well up for it and our lass said she would be happy to just have a day in the town and back at the villa.

    I went up to the booth and asked how much???

    Cap in hand, I returned to my boys and said sorry, really sorry.

    Tickets were €500 each !!!


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