Newcastle United briefing: Matt Ritchie's magic number, Nile Ranger unhappy at snub

Christian Atsu and Matt Ritchie
Christian Atsu and Matt Ritchie

Rafa Benitez's not interested in looking at the Premier League table – yet.

And neither is Matt Ritchie, who has four assists to his name already this season.

Newcastle United moved up to fourth place after last weekend's 2-1 win over Stoke City.

Benitez and his players can cement their position with a fourth consecutive win over Brighton And Hove Albion on Sunday.

Ritchie has been talking about the club's start to the season, while former Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul, whose season-long loan to Brighton and been converted into a permanent move, has been discussing his latest challenge.

Oh, and Nile Ranger has a bone to pick with the makers of FIFA 18.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

Here's your daily briefing:

The magic number

There was a flurry of bets on Newcastle finishing in the top six this season after the Stoke victory.

Ritchie, however, wasn't getting carried away.

Tim Krul

Tim Krul

The winger – who set up both goals against Stoke – is just keen to get to the 40-point mark this season.

“You’d be very naive to look at the table now and get excited,” said the winger.

“For the fans, they can look at it and be proud, but we’re five games in and have nine points on the board.

“We need to hit the 40-point mark before we start getting carried away. Like any team, we want to do that as soon as possible.

Nile Ranger

Nile Ranger

“Hopefully, we can continue to perform well. With good performances, come points.”


Chris Hughton's now got a "decision to make" ahead of Newcastle's visit to the Amex Stadium.

Krul impressed on his Brighton debut in Tuesday night's Carabao Cup defeat to Bournemouth.

And the 29-year-old – who yesterday joined the club on a permanent deal – is now eligible to play against his former team.

"I’m pleased I got 120 minutes in, and now I’m excited about the challenge ahead," said Krul.

"I think we have got a really great squad at Brighton, great team spirit, and that's what we are going to need.”

Asked about Krul, Hughton said: “You want to have decisions to make."

And finally...

Ranger isn't happy.

The former Newcastle striker, now at Southend United, was released from prison in August after serving 10 weeks of an eight-month sentence after admitting an online banking fraud.

Ranger's spell behind bars appears to have led to him being left out of EA Sports' soon-to-be-released FIFA 18 game.

The 26-year-old tweeted: "So 2months in custody stops you from being on Fifa @EASPORTSFIFA wonder if I was @Cristiano or MESSSSI.. would this HAPPEN.. HMMMM."

No it wouldn't, Nile.