Matt Ritchie has sent out a passionate message to Newcastle fans in an open and honest interview with the Chronicle – insisting that every player in the team cares and that he is ‘sure’ we will stay up this season.
Ritchie is exactly the type of personality we need in a relegation battle. He gets it and seems to understand the club and us fans.
He has switched to a wing back position in recent weeks but hasn’t looked out of place at all – something which may have resurrected his career under Rafa given he had been struggling to make things happen as a winger.
Here’s what he opened with when asked if the players care:
“Of course we care. It would be silly to think that we don’t care.
“Every player is playing for themselves, their futures, or whatever they have for themselves – 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.
“I said in an interview the other day that our performances levels have been high.”
The Scotland international is no spring chicken, and has probably realised that to carry on getting game time and competing at the highest level he will have to adapt – and a change of position has done that.
Here’s what he then said when assessing our run in and our recent performance levels:
“We have managed to pick up some points but we need to continue that.
“We need more good performance levels.
“I am sure with that will come the points we require.”
“Every game is huge now, every week.
“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 – every game is huge.
“We approach every game with the mentality we can get three points”
He is captain material and his effort and commitment levels simply cannot be faulted – even when he was struggling earlier in the season.
He is popular with the fans and his comments in this interview show exactly why. He was linked with a move away in the summer but it would’ve been a mistake to sell him in my opinion; especially when characters and workhorses like him are essential in a dogfight.
Through 100% effort and togetherness – both on and off the pitch – we will stay up.
Let’s hope 3 points at the weekend against Huddersfield is the start of our surge towards safety.