Matt Ritchie lays it on the line with honest comment on precarious Newcastle United position
Matt Ritchie provided goals and creativity in the Championship.
The winger directory involved in 19 goals in 2016/17, scoring 12 and getting seven assists.
Since promotion though, these past 18 months have been about his 100% commitment and hard work.
Newcastle United’s players asked to do a lot more defending than attacking, with recent times summing up Ritchie’s contribution, playing out of position at left wing-back.
Always up for playing, nobody has been involved in more games this season than Matt Ritchie, the winger with 27 appearances and Martin Dubravka next highest with 26.
The player is under no illusions as to what this season is all about, as Mike Ashley yet again failed to allow proper investment in the squad: ‘For us, to stay in the Premier League is success.’
As for just how tight it is in the relegation fight, Matt Ritchie declares ‘Where would we be without the win over Man City? The bottom three.’
The Magpies find themselves one of a group of six teams separated by only three points, with at least one of them to go down, Fulham and Huddersfield looking to have reserved two spots.
A pivotal two matches, separated by only three days, lie ahead for Matt Ritchie and teammates…’It is going to be tight and may go down to the wire but we are hopefully going to win our coming games, against Huddersfield and Burnley.’
If it was consecutive victories then 31 points with 10 games left would surely see Newcastle well on the way to survival.
Matt Ritchie speaking to the Chronicle:
“Of course we care…it would be silly to think that we don’t care.
“Every player is playing for themselves, their futures, but we also understand we are at a big football club in Newcastle United.
“We want success and success in different places is different, for us, to stay in the Premier League is success.
“We need to keep working the way we have done.
“We need more good performance levels, I am sure with that will come the points we required.
“Where would we be without the win over Man City? The bottom three.
“That shows how tight it is and that every game is huge, whether they’re in the top two, top six or the bottom three – we approach every game with the mentality we can get three points. If we don’t get three we want one.
“Everybody says 40 points is the safe zone but you have to forget that.
“The more you win and the sooner you win them, the better the table will look.
“As you have seen throughout the season it changes so quickly, teams that one month ago that probably thought they were safe are now getting dragged back in.
“It is going to be tight and may go down to the wire but we are hopefully going to win our coming games, against Huddersfield and Burnley, we need to keep pushing.
“We have a fully fit squad now and competition for places is there, it is now down to the players to perform.”
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