Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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It's time to make new memories, says Newcastle winger Matt Ritchie

Matt Ritchie has urged Newcastle to "make new memories" by continuing their encouraging start to life back in the Premier League.

Saturday's 2-1 home victory over Stoke left the Magpies sitting fourth in the table and while manager Rafael Benitez was swift to insist feet must be kept on the ground, the mood on Tyneside is significantly more optimistic than it was as a difficult summer transfer window drew to a close.

In-form Scotland international Ritchie knows there are tougher tests to come, but the winger has challenged his team-mates to keep the feelgood factor going for as long as they can.

He said: "It's time to make new memories. You are as only as good as your last game and we are as good as we played in the Premier League on Saturday.

"We will build on that for the minute and there is a positive vibe around the place. We need to keep that and the only way we do that is through grit, determination and hard work.

"If you take your foot off the gas, you will soon start getting beaten and dropping points. We need to make sure that we keep getting better.

"When you are doing well it's the time to stay focused and continue to work hard. That is the message the manager will give for sure and likewise all the players."

Ritchie's form has been key to three successive league wins for the Magpies - he provided the crosses for both goals at the weekend - and he is delighted to be making such a big contribution.

However, he insisted it has been a team effort.

Ritchie said: "The assists are helping the team and that's fantastic and I am really delighted, but the team performance is really good."

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