Football

Matt Ritchie: Newcastle United are not yet safe from drop

Newcastle midfielder Matt Ritchie has warned their fans not to get too carried away after they defeated Southampton 3-0 on Saturday to further ease their relegation fears.

Chelsea loanee Kenedy scored the Magpies’ opening goal after just two minutes at St James’ Park before adding another before the break.

Ritchie himself then scored Newcastle’s third on 57 minutes, his second in his last three matches, after he netted the winner in their 1-0 victory over Manchester United.

Rafa Benitez’s side have now lost just once in their last six Premier League matches and are 13th in the table on 32 points, five points above the relegation zone, although Ritchie insists there is work to do before they can consider themselves safe from the drop.

“We need to take one step at a time,” he told NUFC TV. “We’ve had a few good results, we need to continue to work hard, do what we have been doing.

“Details of things that we have maybe not been so good at earlier in the season, we’ve now put right and performances are coming together as a whole now and we’re performing really well as a team.

“We need to continue to work as we have been, concentrate on that and hopefully we can keep picking up points.

“Every three points now is massive, it’s huge. We need to get to that 40-point mark ASAP and three points is a good step in the right direction.

“We need to continue to pick up points, win games and hopefully we can get ourselves safe.”

With the following two weekends taken up by the FA Cup quarter-finals and the international break, Newcastle are next in action at home to Huddersfield on March 31 before they play Leicester at the King Power Stadium on April 7.

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