Matt Ritchie is ‘looking forward’ to a ‘new manager’ at Newcastle United and expects signings to follow – but admits is was ‘disappointing’ to see Rafa Benitez leave.
This is the first time he’s spoken out since Benitez’s official exit was confirmed last month and, considering he was signed by Rafa and reinvented as a player following his inspired move to wing-back, he must be gutted to have seen him go.
That said, he’s trying his best to best positive, saying he and the players are doing their best to prepare for the new season – especially when they expect signings to follow once a new manager is appointed.
Here’s what the 29-year-old has had to say about Benitez, pre-season training, the ‘new manager’ set to arrive and the signings he expects to follow during his chat with the Chronicle:
“To see the manager leave was disappointing. He had a good reign at the club.
“It was a decision made between the manager and the owner.
“We now look forward to a new manager and a new season.”
“The key thing I’ve said since I’ve been at this club is we’ve got to create a togetherness, and everybody pulling in the same direction. Togetherness is key for me.”
“Ben and Neil (Redfearn)‘s sessions have been of high quality and good intensity so we’re not missing anything in that respect.
“The new manager will want to add players but we’re preparing so that when the new manager does come in, we can hit the ground running.”
The big issue with the timing of any new manager’s appointment is the lack of time it gives them to A) assess the squad, B) sign new players and C) allow any new signings to settle in and hit the ground running.
Deals for Joelinton and a free agent move for ex-Chelsea midfielder Kyle Scott appear to have been ‘lined up’ by the club, but it’ll take much more than an unproven striker and U-23 midfielder to repair the damage done by Mike Ashley so far this summer.
With just over three weeks left of the transfer window, it’s time we got this Steve Bruce saga sorted out one way or another and started signing.