Matt Ritchie admits what he was thinking when his Bournemouth side were beating Newcastle

Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie in action

The winger reveals he felt sympathy for Magpies supporters as their team crashed to a disastrous 3-1 defeat to the Cherries in March.


Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie has a shot at goal

Newcastle United summer signing Matt Ritchie has revealed to the Chronicle that he could not believe the unwavering support of the Magpies supporters during the 3-1 defeat to his old club Bournemouth last season.

The Magpies suffered a hugely damaging loss to the Cherries in early March at St. James' Park, a result which left the Tyneside club second-bottom of the Premier League table.

That disastrous afternoon proved to be the final nail in the coffin for manager Steve McClaren, and though his successor Rafael Benitez inspired a late resurgence, the damage had already been done to condemn the club to relegation.

Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie applauds the fans after the game

Ritchie played almost the full 90 minutes that day, but revealed that there was one reason he found it hard to fully enjoy the result for his side.

The man who has since joined Benitez's Newcastle revolution in a £12 million deal admitted that he was shocked by the passionate support the beleaguered club was still receiving despite their desperate situation, and stressed that he hopes to help give the St. James' Park faithful something good to shout about this term.

Newcastle fans behind manager Rafael Benitez

Ritchie told the Chronicle: "When I was at Bournemouth and we came up to Newcastle . . . it wasn’t the best moment for the football.

"Until we scored the first goal the fans were unbelievable. I was actually on the pitch and thinking: ‘This club could be relegated and the fans are still singing’.

"It was unbelievable. So hopefully we can give them something to shout about this season."

Ritchie, who insisted that he does not view his summer move as a step down, will now have his eyes on becoming a firm fan favourite himself amongst Magpies supporters as he aims to inspire the club to instant promotion back to the Premier League.

Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie in action

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