Newcastle's Matt Ritchie withdraws from Scotland squad

Matt Ritchie has withdrawn from the Scotland squad.

Monday, 26th March 2018, 9:14 am
Updated Monday, 26th March 2018, 10:05 am
Matt Ritchie

The Newcastle United played in Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica at Hampden Park.

However, Ritchie will not be involved in tomorrow's friendly away to Hungary and he will return to Tyneside ahead of Saturday's Premier League home game against Huddersfield Town.

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Manchester United's Scott McTominay and former United defender Grant Hanley, now at Norwich City, have also withdrawn from Alex McLeish's squad.

It is not clear if Ritchie – who played 87 minutes against Costa Rica –has an injury.

Ritchie spoke about his recall to the Scotland squad over the weekend.

The 29-year-old – who had a hernia operation at the end of last season – had found himself in the cold under former manager Gordon Strachan after pulling out of a squad because of a groin injury.

“I started really well for Scotland,” Ritchie told The Scotsman. “I came in and scored a few goals and had an impact on the team.

"I wasn’t able to make a trip because of a groin injury, and then went down the pecking order. I didn’t really make it back in for the remainder of the campaign and that was frustrating.

"Everybody wants to play, but you have to respect the manager’s decision.

"It wasn’t to be and I didn’t play as much as I hoped to at the back end of the campaign.

"I knew there were lads coming for every meet-up, and they had been involved and I hadn’t come through injury.

“Of course, you want to be involved in big games. It was tough, and it’s one of those decisions that you have to take your heart out of it and think with your head a little bit. That’s what I had to do.

“I had been playing for probably around three or four months really struggling, and I tailored my training. It was sore, but I’m fully fit now. That’s in the past, and hopefully the future can be more successful.

“I thank the manager for bringing me into the fold and it has given me some good experiences. Hopefully, I can use them to be a part of this team.”

Ritchie has scored in Newcastle's last two home games.