Matt Ritchie leads by example on the pitch and his latest interview reiterates his honest approach off it, with the popular winger pleading with fans to keep their ‘feet on the floor’ despite our superb start, claiming it would be ‘naive’ to look at the table and get carried away.
Ritchie has been an integral part of Rafa’s new look Newcastle side over the past 12 months. His infectious energy and attitude have meant every bit as much as his goals and assists, and he appears to have taken all those traits with him into the new Premier League season.
With industrious displays and 4 assists in 5 games, Ritchie has played a big part in our three-game unbeaten run, but the winger has called for focus at the club, saying the team and the Toon Army must not get carried away after finding themselves in the top four:
“You would be very naive to look at the table now and get excited.
“For the fans, they can look at it and be proud, but we are five games in and have nine points on the board.
“We need to hit the 40 point mark before we start getting carried away and like any team, we want to do that as soon as possible.
“Hopefully, we can continue to perform well – with good performances come points.
Ritchie is spot on here. Our superb start may have made us wonder just what we can achieve this season, but we must not lose sight of the fact we’re a newly promoted club. Staying grounded and staying up has to be the first focus.
“Confidence is key but at the same time, we need to make sure that we stick with our mentality and keep our feet on the floor and continue to improve – if we continue to improve, we’ll win games.
“We have to make sure that we stay focused on the job in hand and not get carried away with looking at the table.
“At the minute, it looks rosy, but it is a long season and there will be a lot of ups and downs and we need to make sure that we continue to improve and stay focused on the job in hand.
“We are back in the Premier League, last year went to plan – it could have gone so differently but it didn’t, through a lot of hard work from everyone involved.
“We are now where we want to be but by no means have we achieved anything yet, we are five games in and we need to keep our feet on the floor.
“If you take your foot off the gas you get punished, so we need to keep our feet on the gas and keep improving, raising the bar and getting better because we have to keep winning games.”
Wise words from Ritchie. This may not be what every fan on a high wants to hear right now, but this is a timely message from the winger.
We all know how quickly things can change in football, so keeping our feet on the floor and staying focused on the task in hand is key. As Matt says ‘we haven’t achieved anything yet’.
Let’s keep on singing and supporting until we get there.