By Emma Sanders

Matt Ritchie believes he has suffered a drop in form for Newcastle recently despite making a bright start to the 2016-17 campaign.

In the Chronicle, the 27-year-old admitted he wasn’t “at the levels” he wants to be and has vowed to pick up his performances in the next few weeks and to continue to work hard.

Ritchie has made 19 appearances in total for Rafa Benitez’ side since making the switch from Bournemouth in the summer and started the season in great form.

“I am pleased with how I started, I felt fresh and sharp. The last few games I have not been at the races to be honest with you,” said Ritchie.

“I’d say that I have had a little bit of a dip in form and haven’t quite been at the levels I want to be at.”

The Scotland international hasn’t scored for over a month but netted four goals in his first 15 games and has already made a quick impression on the Newcastle fans.

His last goal came during the 6-0 victory against Preston in the EFL Cup on 25th October but he will be hoping to add another when he faces Nottingham Forest on Friday in Newcastle’s latest Championship clash.

Benitez’s side are still top of the table but have not had a positive week after they suffered a 1-0 defeat against Blackburn Rovers last Saturday before losing out to Hull City on penalties in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup on Tuesday evening.

Newcastle still lead the Championship by two points over Brighton in second place.

In other Newcastle news, here are the three things we learned in Newcastle’s cup tie defeat against Hull.