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Ritchie able to show his Toon worth

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Matt Ritchie

Matt Ritchie

Action Images via Reuters

Matt Ritchie

Matt Ritchie is ready, willing and able to throw himself into Newcastle's fight on two fronts after finally returning from his injury nightmare.

The 30-year-old had not started a game since August 28, when he was left with a badly gashed ankle after a challenge by Leicester's Hamza Choudhury, before Tuesday night's FA Cup third-round replay against League One Rochdale at St James' Park.

It took him little time to remind head coach Steve Bruce and his team-mates of what they had been missing when he provided the ammunition for the first two goals in a 4-1 win, and he is now looking forward to the battle to earn a regular place as the Magpies aim to secure their Premier League place and progress in the cup.

Ritchie said: "The lads have done fantastically well and hopefully I can join in again and add something to the group. I want to look forward to a good second half of the season."