Cherries: Howe impressed with defensive Ritchie

BOSS Eddie Howe hailed the versatility of winger Matt Ritchie after handing Cherries’ new recruit his debut as an emergency left-back.

The 23-year-old made his first Cherries appearance when he replaced injured Tommy Elphick in the first half of Saturday’s 3-0 win at MK Dons.

Ritchie, whose usual position is on the flank, produced an accomplished performance as part of Cherries’ defence.

The £500,000 signing from Swindon Town had not played as a left-back since being asked to fulfil the role for Portsmouth in August 2010.

Gosport-born Ritchie, a natural left-footer, spent the majority of his impressive spell with Swindon as a right winger.

But with Charlie Daniels sidelined by a foot injury and Elphick hobbling off, he caught the eye by helping Cherries keep a clean sheet at stadium:mk.

Cherries manager Howe said: “He is technically excellent so, with the ball, I have absolutely no worries.

“In fact, he did very well there, technically, going forward. I thought he did excellently and he showed a really good attitude.

“It was not really the debut I wanted to give him, playing in that position. His best position is wide but he did well.

“That was one of the reasons we brought him in – that he can play there. With Charlie out, he did really well for us.”

The former Portsmouth prospect had been a long-time transfer target for Cherries and the Dean Court outfit fended off competition from Championship clubs when they last week sealed Ritchie’s signature on a three-and-a-half-year deal.

Comments (6)

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7:43am Wed 6 Feb 13

DansAFCB says...

Quality players can do the job virtually anywhere on the pitch when asked.

UTCIAD
Quality players can do the job virtually anywhere on the pitch when asked. UTCIAD DansAFCB

8:54am Wed 6 Feb 13

TedMacsCherryPants says...

DansAFCB wrote:
Quality players can do the job virtually anywhere on the pitch when asked. UTCIAD
Agree, though I do look forward to having Charlie & Tommy back so that MR can be played in his more typical position.
[quote][p][bold]DansAFCB[/bold] wrote: Quality players can do the job virtually anywhere on the pitch when asked. UTCIAD[/p][/quote]Agree, though I do look forward to having Charlie & Tommy back so that MR can be played in his more typical position. TedMacsCherryPants

10:42am Wed 6 Feb 13

AFCBRichyRich says...

Will Charlie be back for Saturday? Would love to see MR in his favoured position against Pompey!
Will Charlie be back for Saturday? Would love to see MR in his favoured position against Pompey! AFCBRichyRich

7:23pm Wed 6 Feb 13

West moors 1 says...

You could see from the moment he came on the pitch he is a very good player. Great signing and hopefully a championship player next season! Up the cherries!
You could see from the moment he came on the pitch he is a very good player. Great signing and hopefully a championship player next season! Up the cherries! West moors 1

8:28pm Wed 6 Feb 13

Afcbpete says...

Ritchie had only touched the ball a few times against Franchise and Willo was positively drooling in his commentary, it almost sounded obscene on the radio LOL...
Ritchie had only touched the ball a few times against Franchise and Willo was positively drooling in his commentary, it almost sounded obscene on the radio LOL... Afcbpete

9:51pm Wed 6 Feb 13

bigfatsteve says...

When he came on in a position he hasn't played in for a couple of years, he did look a quality player. Closed the opposition down, tackled well, attacked down the flank in their half and overall settled in with team as though he was a regular. Looking forward to see him playing on the right hand side of midfield, though we might have to wait until Tommy Elphick is back. I think Eddie will leave the team, the same as we finished the second half on Saturday.
When he came on in a position he hasn't played in for a couple of years, he did look a quality player. Closed the opposition down, tackled well, attacked down the flank in their half and overall settled in with team as though he was a regular. Looking forward to see him playing on the right hand side of midfield, though we might have to wait until Tommy Elphick is back. I think Eddie will leave the team, the same as we finished the second half on Saturday. bigfatsteve

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