Matt Ritchie out to keep on improving as Newcastle head to Manchester United.

Matt Ritchie. picture by Frank Reid
Matt Ritchie. picture by Frank Reid
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Matt Ritchie says he’ll always want more at Newcastle United – and will never be content to make up the numbers in the Premier League.

The Magpies are 11th in the table ahead of Saturday’s teatime trip to Manchester United.

Newcastle – who had been as high as sixth last month – go into the fixture on the back of successive defeats.

And Ritchie is keen for the Tynesiders, who were tipped to struggle this season given a lack of summer investment in the squad, to get back up the table.

“It’s a tough question to say whether we’d have taken this at the start of the season or not,” said the Scotland winger.

“It’s football, and you always want more, both personally and for the team.

“Everyone wants more, everyone wants to keep striving, and everyone wants to get better.

“If we were sitting in third in the league, we’d still want to get better and we’d still want to improve.

“We are where we are, and we need to continue to improve and raise the bar.

“We need to continue to create chances, and continue to defend well and press well. We need to continue to have a good shape and be compact, all the small things that we work on during the week.

“We have to get better at all of those things, and if we continue to do that, we’ll be picking up points.”

Ritchie, for his part, believes the two games illustrate the “tight margins” in the Premier League.

“We have to keep a level head,” said the 28-year-old.

“If we’d have scored at the other end in the 90th minute and won 1-0, I’m sure all the conversations would have been very different.”

Ritchie is relishing the clash with second-top Manchester United.

“It’s a big game, but they’re all big games – whether it’s Manchester United or whoever,” said the ex-Bournemouth man.

“This league is tough. It’s going to be a tough game, but we (will be) well drilled, as we have been all season.

“We can go into the game fully prepared.”