Rafa Benitez addresses Matt Ritchie's form at Newcastle

Matt Ritchie
Matt Ritchie

Rafa Benitez wasn't surprised to see Matt Ritchie return to form for Newcastle United.

Ritchie, wearing a cast to protect a broken wrist, set up both goals in Tuesday night's 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.

Matt Ritchie

Matt Ritchie

Ciaran Clark headed a Richie corner past Ben Foster.

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And the winger's free-kick was deflected in off Salomon Rondon and Jonny Evans.

Ritchie – who is joint-fourth in the Premier League's assist table, having directly set up five goals – had been struggling for form during Newcastle's four-game losing run.

United manager Benitez, however, wasn't concerned because of what he saw on the training ground and on the pitch.

"I think with him we have a player that will give everything every game," said Benitez, whose side take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

"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."

Benitez had also been asked about Ritchie before the club's visit to The Hawthorns.

"He did really well for us – he has been doing really well for us – but if he has one bad game, two bad games or three bad games, it doesn't matter," said Benitez.

"You have to improve, you have to change things, and that's it. He's a worker, so he's working every day and he has to manage different situations in different ways.

"He has to just keep going. We will keep coaching him properly, but I'm happy with his commitment."

Ritchie broke his wrist late in the 3-0 home defeat to Watford.