Matt Ritchie hails Newcastle United fans

Matt Ritchie scores the first goal for Bournemouth

Matt Ritchie hails Newcastle United fans after seeing their passion first hand last season.

Matt Ritchie scores the first goal for Bournemouth

Speaking to The Chronicle, Newcastle United new boy Matt Ritchie has paid tribute to the club's famous fans.

The 26-year-old winger sealed a £12 million switch to Bournemouth last week after helping the Cherries stay in the Premier League last season.

Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie has a shot at goal

Newcastle, on the other hand, were not as lucky as the Magpies finished 18th in the table.

One of United's defining results last term came back in March, when Bournemouth beat them 3-1 at St James's Park in what proved to be Steve McClaren's final game in charge of the club.

Ritchie was on the away side that day of course, but the now Newcastle ace says it was "unbelievable" to see how passionate the supporters were despite the club's peril at the time.

Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie celebrates scoring their first goal

“The club was in one of its worst states but to still walk out in front of 50,000 with the fans still behind their team was unbelievable," he said via The Chronicle.

“To play in an arena like this week in, week out will be fantastic.”

Newcastle fans are indeed wonderful and manager Benitez will need them regularly next term.

They'll need a 12th man at times, as any team does, but with the Magpies inexperienced in the Championship for the most part, they'll need the support to ease them into it.

General view of a poster of new Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez outside the ground

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