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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

  • Tackle from behind

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:39 PM

    Comment #81

    Lads – it’s a good job we have these memories.

    The last 14 years haven’t brought many for us.

    Right, early night for me, I need to be up early tomorrow for the NUST news.

    1
  • magicmac54

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:39 PM

    Comment #82

    I dont know what it is about Newcastle but it just gets right inside your blood, we might not have had much success apart from the 50s but i honestly feel so lucky i started to support the Toon from i was 7 years old, also the geordies suit my personality. HWTL

    4
  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:39 PM

    Comment #83

    I remember all those years ago my uncle predicting that we would win nowt when i started supporting the Toon as a young un, he was right.
    Pity he couldn`t predict the winning lottery numbers innit

    0
  • magicmac54

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:40 PM

    Comment #84

    Tackle good night lad, take care.

    0
  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:42 PM

    Comment #85

    Don`t miss the alarm Tackle

    0
  • cleveleysbob

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:45 PM

    Comment #86

    Evening, one and all, took time out to have dinner and watch a bit of telly.

    Just caught up, Betty, didnโ€™t bother with the blinds, guy was an arse. Decision in abeyance ๐Ÿ™‚

    WorB, seems OK, thanks for the heads up ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Enjoyed all the memories, thatโ€™s whatโ€™s so good about us, weโ€™ve won bugger all since 1969, yet had an absolute blast in the process, we truly are nutters, no wonder the PL doesnโ€™t want us well financed and organised, the rest wouldnโ€™t know what hit them. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    2
  • WLtoon

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:50 PM

    Comment #87

    That is what is so frustrating about this takeover not happening YET. we could be massive in no time, as it stands now, we are fading into the champo without any guarantee of getting back any time soon.

    1
  • magicmac54

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:54 PM

    Comment #88

    Magscar@79

    GrahamFenton`s mum and dad were really friendly that night in Blackburn, and they were all decked out in Newcastle colours, i can remember to this very day Mr Fenton his words to me which was= i hope our fella doesn`t ruin the script tonight, and i couldn`t get those words out of my head before the match, the irony mate, those words he said never left me even though i was well tanked up in the pub that night ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

    2
  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:59 PM

    Comment #89

    Night Tackle

    Good craic

    1
  • magicmac54

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:05 PM

    Comment #90

    I try my very best although not very successfully to not think about that blood sucking leech Ashley, as it makes you not have the will to live, i honestly wish he could be transported to Siberia or the red planet along with the whole regime never to be seen or heard of ever again.

    0
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:07 PM

    Comment #91

    Does anyone remember the football specials
    Stuck for hours on the oldest ratliest trains they could find and pissed before you got halfway to the game!!

    2
  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:12 PM

    Comment #92

    magic

    I’m sure they were and probably so would their son have been ๐Ÿ™‚

    We’re a forgiving people us Geordies ( I know you’d wonder on here sometimes but that’s keyboards for you) but in the heat of the moment after a defeat hmmm we can be terrible losers especially if one of our own is involved

    Similar to night before League Cup final in Feb 76 – was on bus with mates heading to Walker ( was to stay with a mate there before an early more my car journey to Wembley)

    Who should be on bus but Tuert’s brother who my mate knew.

    Asked was he going and of course he was but felt he couldn’t win considering – just hoped Denis didn’t score or if he did we won

    Well you know the rest if I was superstitious ( which I’m not apart from making sure I wear my lucky top !) I would have realised the fateful outcome that encounter would have brought.

    Mind it’s probably the best we have played in the 4 finals I’ve been to and watched us lose

    1
  • cleveleysbob

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:14 PM

    Comment #93

    Charlie, never got the train, me and a bunch of mates always drove to games in an old transit van, with a couple of planks for seats in the back, with a few cases of beer between us. Comfort wasnโ€™t a word we understood but had a blast, bloody drove down to Coventry for one game, that was hard work, bruised arses only half the pain we suffered, ๐Ÿ™‚

    1
  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:20 PM

    Comment #94

    Charlie

    Got the midnight(ish) Supporters train down for Wembley in 74

    Drink in town beforehand and then can of Big4 drunk out of plastic black and white plastic hats we had

    Can’t remember when we got to London exactly other than before we finally decided to catch some sleep I headed to bog in time to see King’s Cross sign flash past window and mad scurry to get off

    I think we might have finally got some sleep on train on way back again at Midnight but it’s a haze apart from some scrape with Railway police being over officious as we boarded but all ok in end

    0
  • cleveleysbob

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:21 PM

    Comment #95

    I think Iโ€™ve mentioned before that I worked for a couple of years in a Company where most of the lads were from Sunderland, so despite the banter and rivalry at work, we often went to games together, went to Roker Park a few times to watch them, also went to Ayresome Park to watch the boro v Scum. Never had the same attachment to the teams or cared about the results, but the pre game journeys drinks and craic were just the same as fans everywhere.

    Different times, I actually watched one of our derby games against Sunderland, standing amongst their supporters, that was a bit scary, but my mates would have looked after me.

    1
  • magicmac54

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #96

    Magscar

    Ive really enjoyed reading your posts mate, your another toon fan who really knows his football, its always said only total winners are bad losers, then you have Bruce coming down the touchline after we got best at Old Trafford this year with a big contented happy smile on his face, thats what you call a real loser mate.

    1
  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:24 PM

    Comment #97

    Bob

    that was only time I used a train when I went away mostly a car or the supporters coaches on occasion before I moved away

    Coaches could be fun!

    0
  • cleveleysbob

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:24 PM

    Comment #98

    Bettys, if youโ€™re still about, I should tell you weโ€™ve got blinds and curtains at all the windows.

    The curtains are for decorative reasons and the morning opening ritual. The blinds for privacy.

    1
  • cleveleysbob

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:26 PM

    Comment #99

    Magscar agreed, the same bunch of us did a coach to Blackpool, virtually a right of passage!

    0
  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:29 PM

    Comment #100

    magic

    I’m fortunate to have lived through some of the best times for us ( can’t really remember the 3 cup final wins in 50’s) but feeling my age with so many young un’s on here

    Can reminisce with best but Munster and Bobbybee had some craic about away games in 80s I think

    Not a great tactician or player but know good football when I see it and without doubt the first KK period was the best time to be had

    0
  • cleveleysbob

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:30 PM

    Comment #101

    One of my funniest memories was that when I first moved to Blackpool area, approx 1977/78 Blackpool were doing great in what was then 2nd Division and were top. I went to a home game with a couple of local lads and the Pool got tonked.

    I was never invited again, but they never won another game that season and went down I think. They always blamed me! ๐Ÿ™‚

    0
  • magicmac54

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:31 PM

    Comment #102

    Cleveleysbob

    Some magnificent posts from you again today Bob, and your posts are always very interesting, in fact a lot of the fans were telling some brilliant stories about their experience`s at matches in the past, sometimes ill not post for hours and just sit back and read the posts, i trust you and your 1st lady are very well my friend.

    1
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:33 PM

    Comment #103

    Coaches
    Remember use go on the Barker roadshow specials from the Wyndyke – remember the pee bucket in the front next to the driver
    Two pee a pee – money went to the driver
    When full the last person to per had to get driver to open door and throw the bucket full of pee out the door.
    One trip we were overtaking a car open the window chucked the bucket if pee out the door- car had window half open straight into the car. Police stopped us further down MWay got a telling off and a warning but no further action.
    Spurs cup semi final had to lock driver in the boot on way home as he had hit drunk while we were at the match – happy days !!!

    1
  • cleveleysbob

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:34 PM

    Comment #104

    Great Magic, had a pretty good day apart from arguing with the guy from the blinds company ๐Ÿ˜‰

    You seem chipper, hope you and the family are all good?

    1
  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:34 PM

    Comment #105

    Bob

    Ended up in Blackpool.on supporters coach after game at Anfield what a night of mayhem as lots of other coaches ended up in same coach park ( including a Msckem one I think God knows where in Lancshire they’d been)

    Left 2 behind that night after coach stewards had delayed departure as long as they could and many were saying tough ( or words to that effect) and demanding we go

    0
  • magicmac54

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:35 PM

    Comment #106

    Clevleysbob

    Talking about Blackpool, ive been there about 8 times and had some fantastic memories, i was younger and a lot wilder so ill not go into details as you can understand ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

    0
  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:37 PM

    Comment #107

    Charlie

    Haha remember that or once pee in doorway on M6 as bucket had disappeared but driver opened door – hanging on handle with one hand several sheets to the wind

    1
  • JohnJ

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:39 PM

    Comment #108

    Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 7, 2021 at 8:42 PM
    Comment #58

    Those were the days my friend – I thought they’d never end!

    But they bloody did!!!

    ๐Ÿ™

    1
  • cleveleysbob

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:41 PM

    Comment #109

    Early start for the night shift and for curtain lovers everywhere.
    https://youtu.be/0NFV8dHrZYM

    2
  • magicmac54

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:42 PM

    Comment #110

    Magscar

    The 50s were before my time in terms of the success Newcastle had then as i was born in 1954, but i can clearly remember Newcastle winning the Inter Cities Fairs cup in 1969

    0
  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:42 PM

    Comment #111

    John

    Is that one part of your repetoire

    …and yes they do – apart from Ashley

    2
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:43 PM

    Comment #112

    Mags
    Those were the days great memories.
    But glad things have changed had to be mad to follow your team home and away and madder if you drove or owned a coach company
    I the coach park at Blackpool must of been the biggest in this country massive – loads of bother as loads of teams supporters on way back use to head to Blackpool

    1
  • magicmac54

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #113

    Cleverleysbob

    Nite Nite and take care mate

    1
  • cleveleysbob

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #114

    I canโ€™t imagine doing half the things we did back then, but we did, and loved every minute, I think, memory can play tricks ๐Ÿ™‚

    These days, match going is all about going in comfort, getting decent seats and having a nice meal somewhere. God it sounds boring…. haha ๐Ÿ™‚

    1
  • cleveleysbob

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:46 PM

    Comment #115

    Premature, there Magic, but as always your forgiven ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    0
  • Wor B

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:47 PM

    Comment #116

    magic

    What happens in Blackpool stays in Blackpool.

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1
  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:47 PM

    Comment #117

    magic

    I’m a 1950s lad but born into a family which didn’t really follow football ( certainly couldn’t afford to go) even though I believe my dad had played in goal for his army unit so have no real memories of those years.

    1969 I remember well and it was going to be just the start of our golden years I don’t really know what happened

    1
  • magicmac54

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:48 PM

    Comment #118
  • magscar

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:51 PM

    Comment #119

    Charlie@112

    Exactly we struggled to find our coach – when we parked up they was only about half a dozen – couldn’t count now many when we got back after closing.

    The 2 left behind are probably still wondering around looking for their coach

    0
  • cleveleysbob

    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:51 PM

    Comment #120

    True Wor B – and always will be ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1


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