Matt Ritchie: 'Newcastle United must stay grounded after bright start'

Ritchie: 'Newcastle must stay grounded'
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Newcastle United midfielder Matt Ritchie admits that "confidence is key" to his side's positive form, but he has warned his teammates that they must remain grounded.

Matt Ritchie has urged his Newcastle United teammates to not get carried away by their impressive run of form that has lifted them into fourth place.

The Magpies put their early-season blues behind them by picking up three victories on the bounce in the Premier League, which Rafael Benitez joked has put him under pressure to secure a European spot.

Ahead of this weekend's trip to Brighton & Hove Albion, in-form midfielder Ritchie admitted that it is simply a case of remaining grounded and taking it a game at a time at this early stage in the campaign - Newcastle's first back in the top flight.

"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," The Mirror quotes him as saying. "If we continue to improve, we'll win a lot of games. We have to make sure 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's a long season and there'll be a lot of ups and downs. We need to make sure that we continue to improve and stay focused on the job in hand. We're know where we want to be, but by no means have we achieved anything yet. We're five games in.

"We need to keep our feet on the floor. If you take your foot off the gas, you get punished. 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."

Ritchie has set up four goals in his last three games, two of which came in his man-of-the-match display against Stoke City last time out.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez dreams of Istanbul ahead of his side's Premier League meeting with Manchester City on April 19, 2016
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