Jackie McNamara has been brutally honest and admitted he forgot that Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie was still in contention for international selection after reportedly calling time on his Scotland career.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Celtic and Scotland defender says that he could not remember the last time the versatile wide man had turned out for the last of his 16 caps.
As reported by the Daily Mail, Ritchie has decided to hang up his boots on the international stage to focus on remaining fit and firing for Newcastle as well as for family reasons.
However, McNamara revealed he did not realise the 30-year-old was still in the running for selection by Steve Clarke, with his last international appearance coming back in March 2018.
Asked if he was disappointed by Ritchie’s decision, McNamara told Football Insider: “I don’t think so. He’s not played for a long time, I didn’t know he was still involved to be honest.
“You haven’t seen him in the Scotland squad for quite a while. (Should he have had more that 16 caps?) Possibly, aye. I didn’t know he was still around and available to be picked for Scotland. I can’t remember the last time he played.”
Ritchie has struggled with an injury picked up against Leicester in the League Cup this season with just four appearances across all competitions.
He has a total of 129 games under his belt for the Magpies since joining from Bournemouth, scoring 22 times, while he managed to chalk up a further three strikes during his international career.
In other Newcastle United news, Danny Mills has delivered a fresh verdict on Miguel Almiron after being “abused” by fans for his previous comments.