Newcastle news: Ritchie expecting tight finish

12 months ago

In the latest Newcastle news, Matt Ritchie admits he and his team-mates have plenty of work still to do, with the relegation fight set to go down to the wire.

Ritchie scored in the Magpies’ 3-0 victory against Southampton last week to give them a significant boost in their chances of staying in the Premier League.

They had this weekend off and spent four days in Rafa Benitez’s native Spain for a warm-weather training camp.

Newcastle concluded their brief spell with a friendly against Royal Antwerp on Sunday which finished 1-1, with Ritchie grabbing the Magpies’ goal after a smart lobbed finish.

And Ritchie reckons it will be a difficult end to the season, which could stretch to the final game when they take on Chelsea at St James’ Park on May 13.

“It is going to be a tight end, there will be twists and turns for sure so we will be preparing as best we can,” Ritchie told Sky Sports News.

On Saturday, some of Newcastle’s relegation rivals were in action, with Stoke losing at home to Everton 2-1, and Crystal Palace getting a crucial away win at Huddersfield 2-0.

Bournemouth were also victorious against West Brom, with the Baggies now seemingly on the verge of the drop down to the Championship.

And Ritchie says he and his team mates cannot focus on other teams’ results ahead of the crucial run in.

“You can’t affect the results so you have just got to keep going, keep trying to win your games and Huddersfield next will be a tough game,” he added.

“Obviously they had a disappointing result against Palace so it will be a tough test and they will be ready for it but so will we.”

Newcastle’s next game is at home to Huddersfield and fellow midfielder Mo Diame says they must put the Southampton result at the back of their mind and focus on the battle with the Terriers.

“The last match at home [Southampton] gave us confidence but it is going to be another final for us,” Diame said.

“We need to make sure we get the three points.”