Matt Ritchie: I joined Newcastle to be ‘part of something special’ under Rafa Benitez

Matt Ritchie
Matt Ritchie

Newcastle United’s Matt Ritchie has revealed why he dropped out of the Premier League – after working all his career to get to the top flight.

Ritchie, signed from Bournemouth last summer, took his goal tally for the season to 10 with two strikes in Saturday’s 4-0 Championship win over Rotherham United.

It was a fantastic opportunity, and I want to be part of something special.

Matt Ritchie

The winger, however, could have been playing in the top flight this season.

But Ritchie – who helped Bournemouth win promotion the season before last – felt he could be “part of something special” at St James’s Park.

“I worked all my career to get to the Premier League, and I got there,” Ritchie told the match programme.

“I had to think about the situation, but the opportunity to come to a football club like this, with the squad that we’ve got, with the manager, and the club’s going in the right direction.

“It was a fantastic opportunity, and I want to be part of something special.

“The main thing was the size of the club. The history the club’s got, the potential the club’s got ... it’s still a massive club, but it’s about the potential it’s got to kick on again in the future and have an era like it’s had in the past.

“It would be fantastic to be part of that.

“Hopefully, we can continue the way we’ve been going this season and start that off again.

“The manager’s showed faith in me, which is important. As a player, you need to feel like you’re going to be part of something. I feel that, and I’m really enjoying it.”

Ritchie scored 15 goals in Bournemouth’s 2014-15 promotion campaign.