Sunday Mirror

Matt must keep edge in relegation scrap


STEVE BRUCE has ordered bust-up midfielder Matt Ritchie to keep his narky edge.

The Newcastle boss recalled Ritchie (left) to face Spurs last week, and he helped create the late equaliser in the 2-2 draw.

Bruce insists he never holds grudges when it gets heated on the training ground, despite being branded a coward by Ritchie. He said: “Matt adds an edge to us.

“He is one of those characters, when you are up against it, he gives everything that he has got. He has played like that and had a successful career by doing that.

“One of the reasons we picked that side last week was to get the balance right and to get him in the team. He brought something to us and played very, very well. We talk about this row. It is nothing. It was over-hyped, but I am glad he produced the kind of performanc­e we know he is capable of.”

Miguel Almiron maintains Newcastle’s run of relegation form – two wins in 19 league games – has not broken them.

“The key is that we are together and we’re not becoming too dishearten­ed or too desperate about it,” he said.

“It is a real shame what we are going through at the moment, but we are aware that you get bad runs in football.

“The important thing is to have faith in ourselves and our ability and the confidence in ourselves to overcome this.”

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