Paul Robinson says that it is a huge boost for Newcastle United to have Matt Ritchie back among the side after his injury layoff.

The former Spurs and England goalkeeper, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the Scottish international has a lot to offer the Magpies both on and off the pitch.

Ritchie made his first start since August in the FA Cup replay win over Rochdale in midweek, playing 69 minutes after making his return off the bench at Spotland.

With the versatile and experienced player back in the fold, Robinson says it could not have come at a better time for Bruce after a number of injury setbacks at St James’ Park.

“It’s a massive boost for Steve Bruce to have a player of that quality come back, never mind just to come back but to come back at a time where the squad is so threadbare,” Robinson told Football Insider.

“He’s lost one or two players every week and he’s not getting any back quickly so to have a player of that quality come back is a massive boost for Steve Bruce and Newcastle as well.

“For him as well, the relief, the joy and the excitement to be back among the lads again, that’s a huge boost for him and it’s a huge boost for the team because he gives them something else.” 

Ritchie has played just six times across all competitions this season, the utility man forced to undergo ankle surgery after a foul from Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury in the League Cup.

He set up two goals for Newcastle against Rochdale, Eoghan O’Connel turning a cross into his own net before another delivery was dispatched by Matty Longstaff.

In other Newcastle United news, Robinson was left lauding over a “perfect” decision from Steve Bruce after a rare sight at St James’ Park.