If you need any further proof that Newcastle United’s players aren’t getting carried away with themselves, just listen to Matt Ritchie.
The winger was a key part of the win against Ipswich, completing the scoring as United ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.
However, the former Bournemouth star’s reaction to going three points clear at the top was simply ‘We just need to hang in there’.
Matt Ritchie saying that ‘It’s a long season and early days’, reminding everybody that the team have got into this position by staying ‘calm and grounded with our feet on the floor’.
Saturday’s win means it is now 10 wins in the last 12 matches and 31 points from a possible 36, promotion form in anybody’s book.
Despite acknowledging that the league and promotion is all important, Matt Ritchie is also desperate to go through to the last eight of the League Cup on Tuesday night.
Winning breeds confidence and Newcastle are finding plenty of both at the moment – so far so good.
Matt Ritchie speaking to the official club website:
“The early goal helped but to be honest, the first half was a little bit bitty and we didn’t really get going.
“But we controlled the game throughout, I’d say, and it’s really pleasing to get the goals in the second half, because that just put them out of sight then.
“I’m really pleased. We’ve had some good results of late. Going back a couple of weeks, we had a big game here and got beaten against Wolves, so it’s nice to continue the run and show that we’ve obviously learned from that little bit of complacency, if that’s what it was. It was a good three points, and a really positive day.
“We just need to hang in there. It’s a long season and it’s early days. We’ve managed to stay calm and grounded with our feet on the floor and remain focussed. With all of that, we’ll hopefully continue to win games.
“I have been beating myself up a little bit. I’ve had a couple of chances of late – I had one against Norwich late on and I had one in the first half as well that I probably should have done a bit better with.
“I was delighted to get the goal in the end, but most importantly the three points and put them out of sight.
“Obviously the league is a priority but we want to go as far as we can in the cup competitions as well, and we’ve got the squad to do that.
“I’m really looking forward to that. We’d go into the last eight if we win against Preston, so it’s a great opportunity for us.”
Here are the stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 3 Ipswich 0
Newcastle: Perez 1, 73, Ritchie 78
Possession was Ipswich 37% Newcastle 63%
Total shots were Ipswich 8 Newcastle 16
Shots on target were Ipswich 2 Newcastle 5
Corners were Ipswich 3 Newcastle 6
Newcastle starting 11:
Darlow, Yedlin, Clark, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Gouffran (Atsu 75), Colback, Shelvey (Hayden 83), Perez, Gayle (Mitrovic 79)
Sels, Mbemba, Anita, Diame
Referee: James Adcock
(Recommended – Read ‘Gone in 60 seconds’)
(Read instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to today’s game HERE)
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