Steve Bruce breaks silence on row with Matt Ritchie at Newcastle United
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Bruce and Ritchie clashed this week following a miscommunication during the relegation-threatened club’s 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers at St James’s Park last weekend.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s game away to West Bromwich Albion, United’s head coach said: “Look, there’s no denying I’ve had a row with Matt Ritchie.
"Let me tell you that happens up and down training grounds every other week. These things happen, unfortunately. And unfortunately for us, with Newcastle of course, it gets blown into all sorts of proportions.
"As far as I’m concerned, Matty apologised. As far as we’re concerned, and me personally, it’s over.
"It happens on a regular basis (at all clubs), but ours leaks into the media, which, obviously, causes the frenzy, which unfortunately, at this particular time when we’ve got a big game coming up, we could do without.
"As far as I’m concerned it’s over – and we get on with it.
“We have to draw a line under it, and move on.
"I just think it happens up and down the country, but it doesn’t get out. Unfortunately, he (Craig Hope) has a source in and around the club, which obviously feeds him, which is the most disappointing thing, I have to tell you, which we’re all looking into to try and find out the culprit, because in other clubs it simply doesn’t happen.
"I’ve been in it long enough to understand when you’re dealing with 25 men day in, day out, highly competitive, of course you’re going to get a row between the staff. It happens.”
Asked how Ritchie had reacted to the row, Bruce said: “The very following day, he trained.
"He trained well like you'd expect of Matt, and he came and apologised to me in front of the staff and the players and as I said, from that point on, it's over and one with and we move on because it happens on a regular basis. These things happen.
“From early last week, it's all forgotten about as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately, it's been regurgitated in a newspaper.”