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Matt Ritchie pulls no punches after Norwich defeat and insists life after Rafa must start now

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Newcastle United midfielder Matt Ritchie has insisted that the Magpies must stick together in order to survive life after Rafa Benitez.

The former AFC Bournemouth star fronted up after the abysmal 3-1 defeat at Norwich City and stated that the players do have the answers as they look to address their bad start to the new season,

Ritchie was one of the better performers at Carrow Road but nothing could mask over an inept display against Daniel Farke’s side.

When asked if Newcastle are missing Benitez, Ritchie said: “You guys, the fans and everyone will all have their own opinions.

“Mine is that we have stick together, continue to work hard, try to improve.

“The group is very similar to what we had last season.

“I still believe the new additions can strengthen us.

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Norwich City 3-1 Newcastle United

“It may take a little bit of time but it is a long season and yes, we’d like to have got off the mark, but we didn’t.

“That’s certainly not the result we wanted but we have to keep working and obviously improve.”

When asked whether Steve Bruce was to blame for the defeat, Ritchie said: “Everyone has to be patient. 

“We have new players in and there’s been a slight adjustment to the system. 

“We’re only two games into the system.

“No, we didn’t play very well so we will look at that, find the reasons, work on it throughout the week and go again next week.

 

“The Premier League is relentless and of course, we have to be better than that.”

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Newcastle fluffed two very presentable opportunities in the opening stages after Emil Krafth and Joelinton sent chances wide of the target.

Reflecting on the £40million man Joelinton, Ritchie said: “He’s new to this league and like anyone who comes over here, he has to get used to it.

“He is finding out what it is all about but we’ve already seen in training, he has a lot of qualities and I am sure we’ll see them on the pitch before too long”

But the Rafa questions continued to come the way of Ritchie and when asked if his absence was still on the minds of the players, the winger said: “Look, Rafa has gone.

Matt Ritchie shows his frustration at Norwich
Matt Ritchie shows his frustration at Norwich

“That’s over. It’s a new era now.

“We have to look forward not backwards.

“There’s a new manager come in, someone the players believe in and the club believes in. That’s important.

“We are working  day in, day out to perform to our highest level and today we didn’t do that. We fell short.

“We certainly won’t just brush it to one side and move on to the next one. We will look at it, dissect it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Newcastle were back in training on Sunday as they prepare for a daunting trip to Spurs.

Ritchie said: “Look, we’ve just been beaten 3-1 so it’s obviously one of disappointment.

“But there is a determination in the squad to improve.

“Make no mistake about that.”

 



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