Rafa Benitez addresses Matt Ritchie's form ahead of his return to Bournemouth

Matt Ritchie was caught in a "vicious circle" before he scored against Manchester United, according to Rafa Benitez.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 24th February 2018, 6:41 am
Updated Saturday, 24th February 2018, 7:05 am
Matt Ritchie
Matt Ritchie

The Newcastle United winger scored his first goal of the season in the club's 1-0 win over Jose Mourinho's side.

Ritchie – who netted 16 goals in all competitions last season – will face his former club Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium this afternoon.

“It’s a vicious circle, as you say," said manager Benitez. "When someone isn't scoring, and they’re desperate to score, rather than relaxing they put more effort into it.

"Sometimes more effort is worse, rather than staying calm in front of goal.

"Hopefully, now he will be fine and he will start scoring more. He’s had chances. He’s hit the post and come very close. He was so desperate to score.

"He’s a player who really wants to make a difference for us. And if anything that was working against him. Hopefully, now he’ll be more calm, relaxed and he can play at the level we know he can play."

Newcastle signed Ritchie from Bournemouth for £12million in the summer of 2016.