Newcastle United briefing: Matt Ritchie's broken wrist, Ciaran Clark speaks about captaincy

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Matt Ritchie's form had been under the microscope ahead of Newcastle United's visit to The Hawthorns.

However, the winger went on to set up both goals in the club's 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday night.

And that was while wearing a protective cast to protect the wrist he broke against Watford three days earlier.

Manager Rafa Benitez addressed Ritchie's form after the game.

Stand-in captain Ciaran Clark also talked about leading Newcastle out at The Hawthorns.

Here's your daily briefing:

Matt Ritchie

Matt Ritchie

Winging it

Benitez, for one, wasn't concerned about Ritchie's form.

"I think with him we have a player that will give everything every game," said Benitez.

"As I've said before, some players can play bad or well, but it's not the main thing.

"It's that they try and try to do well and try to improve if they make mistakes. Ritchie's someone that wants to improve, and I'm happy with that."

Ritchie was determined to play against West Brom despite breaking his wrist against Watford, according to the Daily Mail.

The 28-year-old had reportedly fallen awkwardly late in the club's 3-0 defeat to Watford.

Leading by example

Clark led out Newcastle against West Brom in the absence through injury of Jamaal Lascelles.

Benitez left stand-in skipper Jonjo Shelvey out of his starting XI, so it was Clark's turn to lead Benitez's side.

What's more, Clark got on the scoresheet, powering a header home from a Ritchie corner.

And the defender has reflected on a memorable night for him – and an important point for the team.

"It was great for me to captain the team and get the goal, but, at this stage, we don’t care who scores," said Clark. "We’ll take goals from anyone, and it’s obviously nice to chip in."

Doubtful

Chelsea could be without David Luiz on Saturday, when they entertain Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.

Luiz missed last night's win over Swansea City with a knee problem.

"Now it's very difficult (for Luiz)," said Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. "He had liquid in his knee, and we have to assess his recovery on the time.

"I hope to not lose him for a lot of time, and I need to have all my players."

Conte could also be forced to watch the game from the stands after being sent off against Swansea.