Newcastle fans would be '˜naive' to look at table with excitement

Matt Ritchie says Newcastle United have achieved nothing yet '“ and still have everything to do in the Premier League.

Thursday, 21st September 2017, 11:50 am

The club moved up to fourth in the table after last weekend’s 2-1 win over Stoke City.

Newcastle will look to make it four wins in a row on Sunday when they take on Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.

Rafa Benitez said after the Stoke victory that he didn’t want to look at the table.

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And Ritchie – who set up both United’s goals at St James’s Park – isn’t getting carried away with the club’s three-game winning run.

“You’d be very naive to look at the table now and get excited,” said the winger, signed from Bournemouth last year.

“For the fans, they can look at it and be proud, but we’re five games in and have nine points on the board.

“We need to hit the 40-point mark before we start getting carried away. Like any team, we want to do that as soon as possible.

“Hopefully, we can continue to perform well. With good performances, come points.”

Newcastle have been on the up since their win over West Ham United late last month.

Ritchie, however, knows there will be downs this season.

“Confidence is key, but at the same time we need to make sure that we stick with our mentality and keep our feet on the floor and continue to improve,” said the 28-year-old.

“If we continue to improve, we’ll win games.

“We have to make sure we stay focused on the job in hand and not get carried away with looking at the table. At the minute, it looks rosy, but it’s a long season and there’ll be a lot of ups and downs.

“We need to make sure that we continue to improve and stay focused on the job in hand.”

Ritchie swapped Premier League football with Bournemouth for a season in the Championship with United.

The decision “raised eyebrows” given that Ritchie had worked so hard to make it to the top flight.

However, Ritchie’s back in the division with Newcastle – and determined to make the most of it.

“I left Bournemouth, which was a fantastic stage and period of my career. I look at that very proudly and have fantastic memories.

“I made that decision at the time. A lot of people raised eyebrows.

“We’re back in the Premier League. Last year went to plan. It could have gone so differently, but it didn’t through a lot of hard work from everyone involved.

“We’re now where we want to be, but by no means have we achieved anything yet.

“We’re five games in. We need to keep our feet on the floor. If you take your foot off the gas, you get punished.

“We need to keep our feet on the gas and keep improving, raising the bar and getting better, because we have to keep winning games.”