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AFC Bournemouth: Ritchie striving for consistency
MATT Ritchie maintained his prolific start in the Championship before admitting he was still striving for consistency in his performances.
Ritchie netted his third goal in five starts to pave the way for Cherries’ 2-1 victory against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Saturday.
The winger returned to action last month following a lengthy injury absence and added to his effort at Reading a fortnight ago as Cherries registered back-to-back away wins.
Ritchie told the Daily Echo: “It was a great result. It wasn’t a pretty game, especially in the second half, and it was a case of just trying to get the job done which we did. I was pleased to score, even if I didn’t play particularly well.
“I am tough on myself and thought I was poor. You have to try to be at your best every week and that is what good players do. It is all about playing consistently so the manager knows what he is going to get from you.
“I would like to have played better but everyone has bad games. As you get older, you learn to manage games. When you are not having a good day, you have to dig in, give 100 per cent and try to do the simple things well. That was what I tried to do.
“I am not going to beat myself up over it too much. We got three points and that was the most important thing. Although I wasn’t technically very good on the ball, I gave 100 per cent, worked hard and tried to give my all for the team.”
Ritchie, who had been sidelined since the start of pre-season due to a thigh problem, opened the scoring with a 25-yard drive and matched his goal tally from last season, having hit three in 17 appearances during the club’s promotion campaign.
The 24-year-old, player of the year in League One last season, added: “I feel okay and feel like I am getting my fitness back. It was good to get another 90 minutes under my belt.
“We play slightly differently here to the other teams I have played for and I am really enjoying it. The manager wants his wingers to come off the line, get more involved in build-up play and mix things up. I feel like I am improving my game in the final third and with my decision-making. Hopefully, I can keep improving and become a better player.”
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