Matt Ritchie lifts lid on his 'bickering' at Newcastle

Matt Ritchie (Pic: Stephen Dobson)
Matt Ritchie (Pic: Stephen Dobson)

Matt Ritchie says he loves to "bicker" behind the scenes at Newcastle United – as it drives everyone on.

Rafa Benitez's side wrap up their Premier League season with a home game against Chelsea this afternoon.

Ritchie scored the goal against Arsenal last month that secured the club's top-flight status with five games left to play.

And the winger has revealed how he and Jamaal Lascelles and Dwight Gayle keep the standards up in training in an interview with the matchday programme.

Asked how his team-mates would describe him, the 28-year-old said: "Busy, annoying.

"No, I get on with everyone. I've got good relationships with a lot of lads.

"A lot of them are love-hate relationships, especially when we're on the training pitches. I'm always bickering with someone. It's not often I go a day without a little niggle with someone, but that's me. I enjoy it.

"I enjoy that little bit of, not confrontation, but the sort of aggression, that will to win on the training pitch. I think that probably shows in the games as well.

"Jamaal (Lascelles) is another one who likes to have a bicker and Dwighty (Gayle) is the same, so between the three of us, we can create a winning vibe. Because it's about winning, we want to win.

"When we play small games and things like that in training, it's about winning and getting the best out of each other. It's a good thing to have at times, I think."