Matt Ritchie scored his 14th goal of the season, this time his ‘Magic’ head winning the three points after his own shot had come back off the woodwork.

The winger showing excellent technique to control a very difficult header.

With 10 of those goals (and seven assists) coming in the Championship, he has already proved to be an excellent signing.

Having won the Championship with Bournemouth only two seasons ago, Matt Ritchie knows the routine and says ‘we just need to continue concentrating on us…we are leading, and other teams need to fear us’.

It was a typical tough watch but valuable three points for Newcastle fans, as NUFC struggled to create many chances against Wigan and also looked vulnerable at times, particularly with the total lack of pace in the middle of defence as Ciaran Clark was ruled out again.

However, Ritchie believes that ‘at this stage of the season you just have to have that desire to get over the line’.

As usual Saturday’s visitors set up defensively and the Scottish international says it was vital that Newcastle got the first goal, though Rafa Benitez will have been furious that his players didn’t then squeeze the life out of the game rather than giving Wigan a route back in, when they scored a decent goal – breaking right through the middle of that vulnerable centre of defence.

Matt Ritchie expects Burton to present a similar threat and game plan, with everybody in black and white just wanting those three points that mean promotion becomes more of a tangible reality. Watching some entertaining football would simply be a bonus.

Matt Ritchie:

“We just need to continue concentrating on us…we are the most important thing; we are top of the league, we are leading, and other teams need to fear us.

“We need to finish the job off.

“The first goal was important as we have struggled to break teams down, teams come and play five at the back – it’s not always easy to find a way through.

“When you do get the first goal teams have to open up a little bit so pleasing when Dwight scored – obviously they equalised and so it was good that we scored the second in quick succession of theirs because it settled everyone in the stands and on the pitch.

“At this stage of the season you just have to have that desire to get over the line, having that quality.

“Not always about dominating – nice and pleasing to do that but it’s all about three points at this stage of the season.

“For sure Burton can win anywhere, you have seen throughout this season that anyone can beat anyone in this league and you have got to be aware of all of the teams’ threats.

Burton certainly have threats and have shown by beating Huddersfield that they can beat top teams.”

  • 1957

    I didn’t think Wigan were overly defensive on Saturday, yes they appeared to play with 3CB but they passed the ball well and had some good chances, especially second half. The player who didn’t take advantage of our woeful marking and put a freeheader yards wide must’ve had a sleepless weekend.

    Ritchie is right in teams should have feared us but very few have, especially at SJP.

    • Rich Lawson

      Because they know exactly how we play every match now !

      • 1957

        Absolutely, home or away, winning, losing or drawing, there’s no real variation from the preferred tactic.