According to the Chronicle’s Ciaran Kelly, Matt Ritchie is a “big favourite” of Steve Bruce’s and a “key figure” in the Newcastle United dressing room.
Speaking in the paper’s latest Q&A session, Kelly also reveals why the NUFC boss has been left “very impressed” by Fabian Schar – saying Bruce not only ‘greatly values’ his his ability on the ball and ‘resilience’ at the back, but also his influence off the pitch.
Interestingly, the NUFC reporter is also tipping the Swiss international to sign a new deal at the club, with both he, Hayden and Ritchie appearing to be in contract talks:
‘The Newcastle head coach has been very impressed by Fabian Schar, a straight talker who is emerging as a key figure in the dressing room, and greatly values what he can do on the ball as well as that resilience he has shown in recent weeks with some crucial clearances and interceptions.
‘I do not foresee there being many issues (over new contract) for Fabian Schar and Isaac Hayden, for example, are both happy at St James’ Park. Hayden, of course, had his doubts previously but was encouraged by the business Newcastle did in the summer and has enjoyed working with Steve Bruce again.
‘Matt Ritchie enters the final 12 months of his current contract in the summer but is also a big favourite of Bruce’s and a key dressing room figure.‘
It’s no surprise to hear this.
In Ritchie you have arguably the club’s hardest working player who always demands 110% – both from himself and his teammates – while Schar is without doubt one of our most talented players.
Hopefully Ritchie returns soon from an ankle injury that has sidelined him since late August, while Swiss star Schar will have his hands full on Saturday against the league’s joint top scorer, Tammy Abraham.