Matt Ritchie ‘assessed’ ahead of Newcastle’s home game against Huddersfield

Matt Ritchie
Matt Ritchie

Matt Ritchie is back on Tyneside early ahead of Newcastle United’s home game against Huddersfield Town.

The winger yesterday withdrew from the Scotland squad for tonight’s friendly against Hungary in Budapest.

Ritchie had played 87 minutes of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica at Hampden Park.

The Scottish FA have not revealed whether an injury led to Ritchie’s withdrawal.

Newcastle, however, said that Ritchie would be “assessed” ahead of the Huddersfield game.

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

The 28-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,” said Ritchie. “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.

“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 (Alex McLeish) 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, signed from Bournemouth in 2016, has scored in Newcastle’s last two home games.