Matt Ritchie says the team spirit at Newcastle United can’t be faulted – but admits the team have fell short with results. The recalled Toon winger has spoken for a second time in the space of a few days and insists the team are focused on the “business end” of the campaign. However, he pointed to the “intensity” and “purpose” of the team in the 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur when asked if Sunday’s game and the trip to Brighton could even be compared.
Matt Ritchie said: “I think it was a good performance. Obviously, a change of system suited us against a very good team, and yeah it was a good performance and a point, hopefully a good point.”
On what the difference between Brighton and Spurs was,
Matt Ritchie replied: “They were different games and I don’t think you can compare them to one another. We played with intensity and pressed when we had the ball. We played with real purpose.”
Ritchie spent almost two months out of Steve Bruce’s side and the head coach recently confirmed there had been a row at the training ground. Although, those on the football circuit will tell you that disputes behind the scenes at training grounds are common. When asked about himself,
Matt Ritchie said: “I have been champing at the bit to get back in. I worked hard in training and luckily enough I got back in the team. Now I have to keep my shirt and perform as it is the business end of the season. Performances need to be high. Hopefully we can pick up points. The bare minimum each week is to work hard. We need to play with a desire and a mentality to win the game. As we’ve found out in the Premier League if you don’t do that and don’t have quality as well, you won’t get results. I don’t think that is in question for the lads, I think we give everything, week in, week out. But we’ve fell short with the results.”
And when asked about team spirit,
Matt Ritchie said: “Of course it’s good. The performance was good at the weekend. We now look towards Burnley who we know are a good team. They have their philosophy and their style and we’ll look to implement our style on theirs.”
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