Ritchie: Fans must be patient

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Matt Ritchie refused to blame new manager Steve Bruce for the 3-1 defeat against Norwich on Saturday. 

The result means that Bruce is still looking for his first point in the Premier League as Newcastle manager.

Talking after the game on Saturday, as quoted by the Chronicle, Ritchie was asked if Bruce was to blame for the defeat at Carrow Road.

Ritchie replied with a simple five-word verdict: “Everyone has to be patient”.

The midfielder, who was one of the few Newcastle players who put in a shift on Saturday, was also asked about Rafa Benitez.

He said, “Look, Rafa has gone. That’s over. It’s a new era now. We have to look forward not backwards.

“There’s a new manager come in, someone the players believe in and the club believes in. That’s important. We are working day in, day out to perform to our highest level and today we didn’t do that. We fell short.

“We certainly won’t just brush it to one side and move on to the next one. We will look at it, dissect it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”


How patient do the fans need to be? It took 11 games for Benitez to record his first win in the Premier League last season and he steered Newcastle to safety easily. However, he did draw his second game of the season against Cardiff. Newcastle travel to Tottenham next and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a fan who thinks that Bruce will get anything out of that game. And, while Benitez had the support of fans, Bruce is battling to win them over. Each game that goes by without a win is going to make his job that much harder. Worse, bookies have made Newcastle the favourites to be relegated this season, with odds as low as evens at some outlets. That’s shorter than the odds for the newly-promoted teams Sheffield United, Norwich and Aston Villa, and it’s what many Newcastle fans predicted when Bruce was announced as the new boss. We don’t think there’s going to be much patience at St James’ Park. 

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