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Ritchie: It is the “key” to promotion this season

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Newcastle winger Matt Ritchie firmly believes that keeping clean sheets in the Championship is the key to getting promotion for Newcastle this season.

The Magpies have not conceded in 495 minutes of competitive football since Reading’s Gareth McCleary scored a penalty against Newcastle in the 4-1 win on the 17th August, and Ritchie credits the backline for their consistency, even when they scored six goals in an emphatic win against Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday night. He said to the Shields Gazette:

“A lot of credit has to go to the back four. We scored six goals, but the most important thing was that we kept another clean sheet. That’s a key thing in this league – keeping clean sheets. With the quality we’ve got up top, we’re always going to score goals. So if we continue to defend well as well, it’ll be a good combination. The clean sheets are going to be key to our success.”

Ritchie joined from Bournemouth for £12million in the summer and has begun his Newcastle career in good form with two assists and one goal in seven matches so far this season. He will be hoping that the Magpies can continue their rich vein of form against Wolves this weekend as they face Walter Zenga’s side at St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon with Newcastle now just one point behind league leaders Huddersfield Town. The Terriers meanwhile will face the Magpies last opponents QPR who will be reeling after their heavy loss to the Magpies.

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