Newcastle’s fans had threatened a boycott of the fixture, after Rafael Benitez left St. James’ Park.
The Magpies supporters wanted to send a message to Mike Ashley.
However, St. James’ Park was almost full on opening day, even though some opted to stay away.
And Ritchie was pleased that there was not huge numbers of empty seats for the contest.
“I was so pleased to see the stadium full,” he said.
“The support was good. There’s a real positive vibe, especially in the dressing room, at the moment. Throughout the club and the training centre, the vibe is very positive. We need to maintain that. To do that, we need to get results and good performances.”
Newcastle’s supporters that did make the effort to turn up were not treated to a particularly entertaining game.
Steve Bruce’s side looked disjointed in the final third, as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Arsenal.
Newcastle rarely threatened in the contest, and they were eventually undone by a cheap error, which led to Pierre Emerick Aubameyang scoring.
Newcastle are next in action at the weekend, when they take on Norwich City.
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