Matt Ritchie reacts to Eddie Howe's imminent appointment at Newcastle United
Matt Ritchie has welcomed Eddie Howe’s imminent appointment as Newcastle United head coach.
Howe watched this evening’s 1-1 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium with part-owner Amanda Staveley following talks over the vacant post.
Ritchie played under Howe – who has been offered a two-and-a-half-year deal, at Bournemouth before joining Newcastle five years ago.
"I’m not sure if it’s confirmed yet, or what’s happening, but, for me, my time with him was fantastic – I loved every minute,” said Ritchie. “We have a young, hungry group here, and I’m sure he can bring out the best in them if he’s appointed.
"What he did at Bournemouth was nothing short of a miracle. I have all the praise in the world for him. We have some really talented players. It is just about getting the group confidence."
Brighton took the lead through a first-half Leandro Trossard penalty, but Isaac Hayden claimed a point for 19th-placed United with a second-half equaliser.
"We got up the pitch a little better than we did in the first half,” said Ritchie. “In the first half, we showed them a little bit too much respect, but, second half, we pressed.
"The pressure on the ball at the top of the pitch helps the back line. It’s a knock on effect.
"We've not created enough of late. We know that as a group. We know it’s a challenge for us, and it was pleasing to get the goal. The longer it went on, we fancied the winner."
Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez was sent off for bringing down a goal-bound Callum Wilson outside the box late in the game.
"I can see Callum Wilson going round the keeper and putting the ball in the empty net, but we were denied that,” said Jones.
"The response from the boys (to Brighton’s goal) was outstanding.
"Brighton are an on-the-ball team. The power’s always with an on-the-ball team, and we had to be in the game and slowly grow into it. We improved the high press today, we were better playing out from the back. In the end, I think there was only one team in it."