Jackie McNamara has admitted that he forgot about Newcastle United midfielder Matt Ritchie.
The Scottish pundit revealed that he didn’t realise the returning Magpies’ star was still in contention at Hampden Park after recently hanging up his boots and retiring from international duty for Scotland [Daily Mail].
McNamara claimed that he wasn’t disappointed at Ritchie’s decision, but did admit that he probably should have had more caps throughout his career after only making 16 appearances at international level.
“I don’t think so,” he told Football Insider.
“He’s not played for a long time, I didn’t know he was still involved, to be honest.
The 30-year-old has not made an international appearance since March 2018 and has only featured four times under Steve Bruce this season after picking up an injury in the Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester City.
It seems harsh from McNamara to say he has forgotten about Ritchie in the space of a year, with Scotland not exactly flourishing in his absence. Should Scotland have been on a great run of form with a set amount of players in a great run of form then it would be safe to say that the outsiders can be forgotten about, but that isn’t the case and Ritchie has been hard done by. His injury won’t have helped his cause moving forward, with the beginning of this season a real opportunity for him to make an impression on Steve Clarke. Bruce will have been wanting to call upon the experience of Ritchie, who will surely also struggle to return to the Newcastle squad in the coming weeks, with Jetro Willems really excelling at left-wing back. From the excitement of starting the season under Bruce and potentially making his way back into the national side to missing months of action is surely not what he had in mind, and the decision to retire will only benefit the versatile Magpies’ star.