Matt Ritchie says Newcastle have other ‘very good players’ to fill in for Jonjo Shelvey
Matt Ritchie insists that not only is he determined to win promotion but also desperately wants to still win the league.
Brighton could go five points clear with their game in hand but the Newcastle winger really wants to emulate Bournemouth’s second tier winning achievements.
The winger says that ‘it’s not all doom and gloom’ despite losing two of the last three matches.
Matt Ritchie insisting that whilst ‘any team’ would miss Jonjo Shelvey, Newcastle have other ‘very good players in that position’.
Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey have come under the spotlight after the defeats against Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn but Ritchie simply says ‘we need to bounce back’.
As for regrets about dropping a division and coming to St James Park, he answers that with ‘I’m at a fantastic club that is geared up for the Premier League with a huge fanbase so it’ s a risk I was willing to take’.
Matt Ritchie speaking to the EFL Weekly Podcast:
“It’s not all doom and gloom, we have lost a couple of games but it would be an unusual season if you went through it unbeaten.
“We need to bounce back and get back on the kind of run we have been on.
“The form we were in we would have liked to have picked up more points over the Christmas period but it’s a tough league and we know every game is a difficult test.
“It’s a bit of a stumble but hopefully we can continue the good form from the first half of the season into the second half.
“The results are not completely down to him (Jonjo Shelvey) missing because we have lost games with him in the team.
“Everyone knows the quality he brings to the team. His attributes are fantastic and any team would miss him.
“He’s a big player for us but we have a good squad with very good players in that position and collectively we need to improve on the last couple of results.
“I have come to a club in the Championship but with the squad and manager we have, there is a great opportunity to get back into the Premier League.
“Then I’m at a fantastic club that is geared up for the Premier League with a huge fanbase so it’s a risk I was willing to take.
“We want to get promoted but we want to win the league – I have won it before and it’s fantastic. Hopefully we can do it this season.”
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