Ritchie admits he thought Newcastle career was over

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Matt Ritchie admits he thought his Newcastle United career was over.

The 31-year-old almost joined Bournemouth on deadline day, only for Toon to withdraw the deal after an injury to Jamal Lewis.

"If I'm honest, yes, I thought my Newcastle career was over," he reveals. "As a kid I went on loan as a young age, when I went back to Portsmouth I could've stayed there longer but took the decision to move on and go and continue to play.

"I've always backed myself to get back up the leagues. It was difficult, it was probably my first spell in my career where I've been fully fit and not involved, so that was difficult mentally and physically, how to adapt and adapt my training. They're challenges I've not had before.

"It's about managing your body so you are ready when called upon, training throughout the week at the intensity which is going to be needed for the weekend, and when you're not involved for a long period that can be difficult.

"I feel like I've come through it, learned a lot in the last six months and I'm pleased with how I've reacted personally to those challenges."