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Matt Ritchie calls for the boos to stop

4 years ago

Matt Ritchie had mixed feelings on Friday night.

The Newcastle winger started his first game for Scotland in 17 months and was arguably the best player on the home side.

However, they lost to World Cup finals’ bound Costa Rica and the Scotland fans booed the team off at the end.

It was the first game for Alex McLeish as he once again assumes control after having a 10 month spell back in 2007 as manager, before resigning and taking the Birmingham job.

Matt Ritchie played all but the last minutes last night, subbed in the 87th minute.

The winger has called on Scotland fans to stop the boos and instead give time and support to the new manager and new look team.

Ritchie says that you could already see improvement in the team from the first half to second half against Costa Rica.

Ritchie came closest to scoring for a Scotland team that also included former Newcastle centre-back Grant Hanley, who played the full match.

Matt Ritchie speaking after Scotland fans booed the team off the pitch:

“We need their support and hopefully we can have a successful spell.

“It’s the first game and I understand they want to win, we want to win more than anyone, but it’s a work in progress.

“I know they are frustrated after the last campaign but we all need to be pulling in the same direction.

“[It was] A good exercise.

“It is a new manager with new ideas and I think you could see from the first half to the second half it was much improved. That was down to the lads getting to know each other.

“It was a good night, not the result we were hoping for but, second-half, we definitely created some good chances.

“Hopefully we can continue to improve and be ready for the qualifiers when they come.

“The manager has come in, it’s a fresh, young group and hopefully one that can develop and have a successful period for the country.

“Training has been brilliant all week. A lot of lads made their debuts and will be happy to get that out of the way. Then they can kick on and really find their feet.”

“(After coming closest to scoring for Scotland) I was in two minds whether to take another touch or hit one and the surface wasn’t the best, I tried to put my foot through it but it was right at the goalie. Maybe I should have slipped it the other side of him.

“The main thing is we want to win games, to have that winning mentality,

“In the first half there were probably some small details that as a team we didn’t get right, but that’s down to the players.

“I’m sure the manager will have noticed that and we’ll go and work on that in the next few days.

“If the improvement from the first half to the second half can continue, we’ll be going in the right direction.”


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