MX23RW : Saturday, January 19 11:04:13

Matt Ritchie: Newcastle need to improve on Premier League return

Matt Ritchie: Newcastle need to improve on Premier League return
© Reuters
The midfielder levelled from the penalty spot to deny Blackburn victory.

Matt Ritchie has warned Newcastle they have to be better as they prepare to return to Premier League action after he rescued their fledgling FA Cup adventure.

The 29-year-old midfielder got the Magpies out of jail with an 85th-minute penalty in a 1-1 draw to deny Sky Bet Championship Blackburn a third-round victory at St James' Park, but later admitted the performance from a much-changed team had not been good enough.

Ritchie told NUFC TV: "I keep practising them. You never know when you're going to get one and you need to be ready.

"I certainly felt the pressure, but I managed to put it in the bottom corner and I'm pleased with that. Hopefully that will get me off the mark now and (I can) get some more goals.

"But more importantly, the performance of the team, we need to make sure it improves and hopefully with that we can pick up more points.

"It was obviously not the best performance, but we showed good personality, a good reaction to going one down. It's just frustrating the first half, we didn't really get going.

"Second half, we conceded the goal and then we picked up a little bit, but still it was a disappointing performance and it's good to still be in the competition."

Skipper-for-the-night Ritchie was one of only three men who had started the midweek fixture against Manchester United to retain his place as Rafael Benitez used the depth of his squad, but ultimately saw his under-studies struggle to make an impression.

After a tepid first-half display, things took a turn for the worse when Bradley Dack headed the visitors in front, and it was not until substitute Ayoze Perez was sent tumbling in the box with five minutes remaining that Ritchie got his chance to save the day.

Ritchie said: "It certainly wasn't one of my best games of the season but – as everyone knows – I always give 100 per cent.

"I'll never shy away from the ball and if I make a mistake, I'll keep getting on the ball and trying to do that.

"That's my character, that's me, so whether I've got an armband or not, it's not important to me. It's more the fact that as a team, we improve and keep trying to push forward and get better."

As Benitez turned his attention to Saturday evening's trip to Chelsea with the Magpies sitting just two points clear of the drop zone, opposite number Tony Mowbray was remaining philosophical.

He said: "Listen, we are where we are. We were in League One last year and Newcastle United are in the Premier League.

"It's a great credit to this group of players, who just about all of them played in League One last year, that they can come here and give such a good account of themselves."


Click here for more stories about Matt Ritchie

Click here for more stories about Blackburn Rovers

Share this article now:
Rafael Benitez gestures during the Premier League game between Newcastle United and West Ham United on December 1, 2018
Read Next:
Newcastle boss Benitez 'not happy' with prospect of third round replay
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League
Championship
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
Belgian Pro League
League One
League Two
National League
Scottish League Two
NIFL Premiership
Liga MX
Argentine Primera Division
Segunda Division
Serie B
Ligue 2
Greek Superleague
Turkish Super Lig
Australian A-League
Indian I-League
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leeds UnitedLeeds27166546281854
2Norwich CityNorwich28158552361653
3Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd27155746281850
4West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom27138655352047
5Middlesbrough271210530191146
6Derby CountyDerby2712783834443
7Bristol City2711883429541
8Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2791263931839
9Birmingham CityBirmingham2891274033739
10Hull City27116103933639
11Queens Park RangersQPR27116103335-239
12Aston Villa2791174943638
13Swansea CitySwansea27107103632437
14Blackburn RoversBlackburn2791083541-637
15Stoke CityStoke2781183134-335
16Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds2788113245-1332
17Brentford27710103937231
18Preston North EndPreston2779113944-530
19Wigan AthleticWigan2785142840-1229
20Millwall2777133343-1028
21Rotherham UnitedRotherham27510122542-1725
22Reading2758143041-1123
23Bolton WanderersBolton2757151840-2222
24Ipswich TownIpswich2739152246-2418

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account