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Matt Ritchie apologises after angry exchange with Newcastle boss Steve Bruce

Arsenal v Newcastle United – Emirates FA Cup – Third Round – Emirates Stadium
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

Newcastle midfielder Matt Ritchie has apologised after a training ground bust-up with head coach Steve Bruce.

A report has claimed the 31-year-old was involved in an angry exchange with Bruce earlier this week over the former Manchester United defender’s post-match comments following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Wolves, in which he suggested substitute Ritchie had not passed on information from the touchline seconds before the visitors scored their equaliser.

The club has not commented on the incident, but the PA news agency understands the player has apologised for what he said and that the matter is now considered closed.

Matt Ritchie and Steve Bruce have been in the news

Matt Ritchie and Steve Bruce have been in the news (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Newcastle currently find themselves deep in relegation trouble with 12 games of the Premier League season remaining, having won just two of their last 15 league matches to slip to within three points of the drop zone.

Bruce’s position has been brought into ever sharper focus by that run, which has fuelled the fires of his critics.

The Magpies head for 19th-placed West Brom on Sunday with leading scorer Callum Wilson, Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin, who have scored 16 of their 27 league goals to date this season, all facing several weeks on the sidelines through injury.

Ritchie, who was a key member of the team under Rafael Benitez but has slipped down the pecking order since Bruce’s arrival, could have a role to play in their absence as the 60-year-old looks to find the goals, pace and creativity he has lost.

The former Scotland international, who saw a proposed January move back to Bournemouth fall through, was not the only player to find himself in the firing line after last weekend’s draw – with returning keeper Martin Dubravka, full-back Jamal Lewis and striker Joelinton all coming in for criticism for errors during the game.