Newcastle star Matt Ritchie thinks that losing to Fulham could be a ‘blessing in disguise’.
Whilst not having a great game, the new signing was easily Newcastle’s biggest threat and should have had a penalty when his cross hit a defender’s outstretched arm.
Ritchie also came closest to scoring when his left-footed shot simply hit Button’s feet in the home goal, the keeper knowing little about it after Vurnon Anita had cut the ball back for the former Bournemouth player to shoot.
Despite not going overboard about this defeat, Matt Ritchie though echoes his manager’s warning for the Newcastle squad, saying that ‘Just because we are Newcastle United doesn’t mean we are going to turn up and win games’.
Newcastle certainly didn’t deserve to lost last night but more disappointingly they didn’t deserve to win either.
The positives against Fulham almost all came from the new signings, with Ritchie and Gayle lively despite a lack of movement/service from others, whilst Isaac Hayden did ok in the middle of the pitch.
Sels could do nothing about the goal and I thought he looked very confident coming for crosses, whilst Grant Hanley had a steady game at the back.
Hopefully the more established players aren’t carrying over the complacency from the Pardew/Carver/McClaren eras and will now step up their games to show they deserve a place in this new Rafa Benitez era.
Matt Ritchie talking to the official club website:
“I don’t like to look at referees because they have got a tough job but there was maybe a couple of penalties in there.
“I don’t really want to go into detail on them. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t, and tonight wasn’t our night for it.
“I should have also scored from the cut-back from Vurn (Anita), so we were unlucky not to get something from the game – but that’s football and you don’t get what you deserve every week.
“There were some positives out there tonight and some negatives too, which we will look at and work on this week.
“We are disappointed not to get off to a good start and a win but this league is tough, a lot of people have been saying that we should romp this league but I think that shows it will not be easy.
“Just because we are Newcastle United doesn’t mean we are going to turn up and win games. We have to win the right and tonight I thought Fulham were very good.
“We probably let them be better than we should have done and we didn’t quite press how we wanted to.
“It could be a blessing in disguise to make everyone realise that this league is actually very tough.
“We all know it’s going to be a long, tough season with a lot of games.
“Nothing changes though. It’s one game and we certainly weren’t going to go through the season unbeaten, not in this league, so we need to make sure we put things right against Huddersfield next Saturday.”