Matt Ritchie’s backed his Newcastle United team-mates to put a smile back on his face – after he was left “fuming” by a one-game ban.
Ritchie will miss tomorrow’s home game against Cardiff City after picking up his fifth booking of the season.
The winger was shown a yellow card for a late foul in last weekend’s 2-1 Championship win over Preston North End.
Ritchie – who attended the Newcastle United Foundation’s awards night this week with his team-mates – feels a couple of his bookings have been harsh.
And the 27-year-old, called up by Scotland for their November 11 World Cup qualifier against England at Wembley, will be a frustrated spectator at St James’s Park as Rafa Benitez’s side looking to maintain their advantage at the top of the Championship.
“I’m still fuming, to be honest,” said Ritchie.
“A couple of my yellow cards have been silly. I didn’t think the one on Saturday was a yellow card, sometimes they’re given, somethings not.
“But I’m sure the lads will put in a good performance. We’ve worked hard this week.
“It’s a massive game and we need to make sure we continue the run that we’re on. As long as the mentality stays the same, I think we’ll be fine.”
Ritchie, signed from Bournemouth for £12million in the summer, admits he finds it hard to watch games when he’s injured or suspended.
However, he’s hopeful Newcastle can record a seventh successive league victory against Cardiff.
“I kick every ball, to be honest,” said Ritchie.
“When I watch games at home, I struggle to watch as I want to play. I’m not the best spectator.
“But when I was ill the other week, I came and watched the Brentford game. I thoroughly enjoyed it. We got two early goals, and I sat back in my seat and enjoyed the rest.
“I’m disappointed not to be involved, but I’m sure the lads will be raring to go and organised as ever. Hopefully, we’ll get the job done.”
United also beat Preston 6-0 at St James’s Park in the EFL Cup last week.
Benitez’s side dominated the game from start to finish and could have won by a greater margin.
However, it was a very different game at Deepdale, where Newcastle were tested physically by a full-strength Preston team.
“The pleasing thing for us involved is that we’re winning in all different ways,” he said.
“We played great football, easy on the eye, here at home against Preston. We knew it was going to be a difficult game, but we dug in and the spirit was fantastic.
“I think those sort of games really give you belief and strength and a platform to builld on. It gives you a good feeling in the dressing room.”
Meanwhile, Ritchie was happy to give his support to the Newcastle United Foundation this week at the dinner, which raised a record £53,000 for the charity.
“The club wouldn’t be the big club it is without the fans’ support, and the fans were a massive attraction to me when I signed,” said Ritchie.
“It’s good that the Foundation is set up to give something back.
“It’s good for the lads to come and give up their time. As everyone knows, the schedule’s busy with a lot of games, but this fell on a night where we could attend and it’s good to support the community as they support us.”
The Foundation harnesses the power of football to help disadvantaged children, young people and families in the North East.