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Last updated : 10 February 2020 By Footy Mad - Editor

Newcastle United would 'love to play superb free-flowing football all the time' but Matt Ritchie believes the Magpies have 'got to know who you are and where you are' when they play the top teams.

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Many fans are delighted with the league position, but many also wish Steve Bruce would throw caution to the wind once in a blue moon.

Spirit, hard work and resilience have been at the heart of the black-and-whites' eight league wins this season and those qualities were evident in the 1-0 win against Chelsea at St James' Park and the FA Cup tie with Oxford.

But the 0-0 with Norwich was the "bore draw" of the season.

Newcastle had less possession than the visitors (bottom club Norwich), who are easily the poorest team in the league, as they have against justr about every club they have played this season.

Ritchie, who is back after a long term injury, does not think Steve Bruce gets the 'respect he deserves' when the Newcastle head coach was appointed last summer but believes 'the proof is in the pudding'.

"Certainly our fans wouldn't prefer us to get beat 3-2. We're here to do a job and win football matches," he told the Chronicle.

 

"Growing up, as a kid, you're watching teams going, 'Wow look at those'. Barcelona, Man City, Real Madrid - the top teams - and the wonderful way they play. Don't get me wrong, we'd love to play superb free-flowing football all the time but you've got to know who you are and where you are.

"At the moment, the way for us to beat top teams - and by the way we've had quite a bit of success against them in the last few years - is to play like that. If we go toe to toe with Chelsea, we'd win two maybe three times out of 10. We ain't going to win all of them, so that is the best way to beat the best teams.

"It's not a lack of ambition, it's not a criticism to us as a team. We are where we are. We came up from the Championship, we built, we got better and we've improved individually and collectively. We're now in a really good position in the table."