Matt Ritchie continued his recovery from an ankle operation by featuring against Rochdale in the FA Cup on Tuesday night.
The Scotland international has been restricted to just six appearances for Newcastle United during the 2019/20 campaign due to his injury problems.
Having been on the bench against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the weekend, he was named in the starting XI as the Magpies booked their spot in the fourth round of the cup.
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Ritchie provided an assist in Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Rochdale, and it would be fair to say that a lot of the club’s fans were impressed with his performance.
Brilliant performance, Matt! pic.twitter.com/bosVyW1lrg
— Alex W (@WesterosMagpie) January 14, 2020
— Christian Hegbo (@christian_hegbo) January 15, 2020
Well done Matt Ritchie. He made the first two goal. Whip them balls in on Saturday too please.
— Keith Waugh (@KeithWaugh6) January 15, 2020
— nufc_seb (@djchubbs) January 15, 2020
And a number of the supporters are delighted that Ritchie is now available for selection.
Who the heck is that?! Can you name all 25 of these obscure Newcastle signings…
The Scot has a record of 22 goals and 26 assists in 131 appearances for the Magpies and could now be in line to start Saturday’s Premier League clash with Chelsea.
Indeed, after the FA Cup win many fans expressed their general admiration for Ritchie…
So glad he is back
— Sandra Farn (@hockeymom41) January 15, 2020
So happy Matt Ritchie is back, he never stops, his passion, energy and dedication in the team is unrivalled, love watching him go berserk ! #nufc
— Iain Connolly (@forasf) January 15, 2020
Ritchie will make a great manager one day I think, work ethic is insane and we are categorically a better club with him in and around the dressing room. His drive is infectious, to think we tried to flog him at one point is madness #nufc
— Gianfranco Shola (@youmeandnufc) January 15, 2020
He, Lascelles, and Dummett are guys that you love to have in the team. Not necessarily for their immense skill, but they play hard, rarely make mistakes, and most importantly are vocal leaders to help with organization and tactics.
— UptheMags 👉😃👈 (@TGS42084) January 15, 2020
Ritchie has missed a lot of football this season, but the fact that he has undergone two operations since August and is back on the field at the start of 2020 is impressive.
Bruce will surely be keen to take it easy when it comes to the versatile 5 foot 8 veteran, although it would not be a surprise to see him feature in the XI against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea on Saturday.