Former Leeds boss Neil Redfearn believes Matt Ritchie is doing the same job for Newcastle as he did for Bournemouth two seasons ago.

Bournemouth finished as champions that season and the winger was involved in an incredible 32 goals that Championship year, scoring 15 and notching 17 assists.

He hasn’t exactly matched those numbers but with 10 league goals and 7 assists he has been just as vital for Newcastle, with four goals in the cups it makes it a very impressive 14 goals in all competitions, not bad for a winger…

Neil Redfearn thinks that he is a cut above Championship level so no surprise he is doing so well in the second tier, describing him as an ‘outstanding footballer’, Redfearn says he would have him in his Championship team of the season.

With Newcastle taking a massive step to promotion with a win over Wigan whilst Huddersfield lost, many fans will now be turning their attention to just which of Rafa’s team are good enough for the step up, if/when it happens.

Redfearn has no doubts about Matt Ritchie, stating ‘He is a Premier League player’.

Neil Redfearn talking on Football on 5:

“He is better than the level, that is the big thing with Matt Ritchie.

“He is an outstanding footballer and he has done really well for Newcastle this season and he has popped up with a goal or two.

“He gives them that energy on the right side and he is helping to fire Newcastle back into the Premier League.

“He is a Premier League player and I would definitely (have Ritchie in Championship team of the season), I think he’s that good.

“He was one of the main players for Bournemouth when they got promoted and he’s doing it again for Newcastle this season.”

Newcastle v Wigan stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Wigan 1

Goals:

Newcastle: Gayle 36, Ritchie 57

Wigan: Jacobs 50

Possession was Wigan  48% Newcastle 52%

Total shots were  Wigan 6 Newcastle 18

Shots on target were Wigan 3 Newcastle 6

Corners were  Wigan 4 Newcastle 6

Referee: David Coote

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Hanley, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Colback, Gouffran (Hayden 70), Diame (Atsu 63), Gayle (Perez 80)

Unused Subs:

Elliot, Gamez, Mbemba, Mitrovic

Crowd: 51,849 (1,200 Wigan)

(Read instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the win HERE)

(Wigan boss ‘Football Gods were against us..’ Read HERE)

(To view the interactive player ratings and to add your own go HERE)