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Bournemouth’s Matt Ritchie has to mute his celebrations after 10-man Norwich City stun Championship leaders

20:35 11 January 2015

Matt Ritchie celebrates scoring Bournemouth

Matt Ritchie celebrates scoring Bournemouth's opening goal against Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

It was supposed to be a day of celebration for Matt Ritchie. A new long-term contract in the bag, plus his opening goal for Championship leaders Bournemouth. Even following Jonny Howson’s second-half sending off, it seemed the Cherries man would get a fitting occasion.

It was supposed to be a day of celebration for Matt Ritchie. A new long-term contract in the bag, plus his opening goal for Championship leaders Bournemouth. Even following Jonny Howson’s second-half sending off, it seemed the Cherries man would get a fitting occasion.

But Saturday was Norwich City’s time to shine and instead, Ritchie was left to hope for better as the Cherries switch attention from maintaining their swashbuckling, free-scoring run – to making sure they avoid the Championship ailment of one set-back leading to a slump.

“They are a good side, they’ve got top players, Premier League and experienced players who know how to see games out,” said Ritchie.

“And when they went down to 10 men, it didn’t look like they were. That was probably down to the way we played as well – we didn’t exploit the gaps as we should have done.

“But they’re a good side, well organised and I’m sure come the end of the season they will be in and around where they want to be.”

City fans could easily find themselves getting carried away by Alex Neil’s impact, given how events at Dean Court panned out. And that funnels into the argument of exactly where Norwich want to be come the end of the season. The original aim was a top-two finish, while Neil was publicly tasked with a play-off berth by David McNally on Friday’s arrival.

But for Ritchie, automatic promotion is up for grabs to any side that can sort out their form between now and May.

“This one, Derby beating Ipswich – whatever the results, every game is a big game in this league and three points is massive,” said Ritchie. “You win two on the bounce, you can move up two or three places.

“We were 14 games unbeaten, which in this league is a great achievement. But we’ve lost this one and with the standards we’ve set, we expect to win our home games.

“The mindset shouldn’t be down or negative, because you’re going to lose games. But it’s the way you lose them. We didn’t perform quite as well as we can here, and hopefully we will put that right at Rotherham.”

Bournemouth’s anger seemed prolonged over Michael Turner’s intervention in City’s equaliser – however, Ritchie added: “I think it hit his hand but you’ve got to swallow it. We’re disappointed with our performance as well.”

Follow Michael Bailey via Twitter @michaeljbailey

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4 comments

  • Good summing up by young Ritchie. He had another chance in 2nd half which just flew by JR's post. Forget the haircut he's better than Ballotelli!!

    Report this comment

    Bogaz John

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • If it hit his hand it's not handball. Shows most players, and pundits, don't know the rules.

    Report this comment

    Colin

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • If this blatant advertiser is not blocked immediately the site will suffer. Genuine fans will refuse to use it. It is in your hands Archant.

    Report this comment

    Jim

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • Ridiculous hair cut Matthew. Take a look in the mirror sonny. And that's fashion, ha!

    Report this comment

    ole tommy buster custard

    Sunday, January 11, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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