Matt Ritchie issues plea to Newcastle United fans

Matt Ritchie has pleaded for patience as Newcastle United start a “new era” under Steve Bruce.
Matt RitchieMatt Ritchie
Matt Ritchie

Bruce’s side were convincingly beaten 3-1 by Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday.

There was a backlash against Bruce’s appointment on Tyneside following the summer departure of Rafa Benitez.

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And Bruce has admitted that only results will win over fans.

However, Newcastle were second-best in every department against Daniel Farke’s newly-promoted side.

“Everyone has to be patient,” said Ritchie. “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’ll 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.”

Ritchie maintains that the players “believe in” Bruce.

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“Look, Rafa has gone,” said the winger. “That’s over. It’s a new era now. We have to look forwards, not backwards. There’s a new manager come in, someone the players believe in and the club believes in. That’s important.

“We’re working day in, day out to perform to our highest level, and 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’ll look at it, dissect it, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Asked if the club was missing Benitez, Ritchie said: “You guys (the media), the fans, everyone – I’m sure 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. It may take a little bit of time, but it’s a long season, and, yes, we’d like to have got off the mark, but we didn’t.”

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On the mood in the dressing room, Ritchie added: “Look, we’ve just been beaten 3-1, so it’s obviously one of disappointment. But there’s a determination in the squad to improve. Make no mistake about that.”