MATT RITCHIE described Wednesday night’s 3-1 defeat to Tottenham at St James’ Park as being a “little kick up the a***” for the Newcastle squad, going into next season.

The match saw Tottenham striker Harry Kane reach 200 career club goals with his double, in the process recording 20 goals in all competitions for the sixth successive season.

For the Magpies, who had already lost skipper Jamaal Lascelles for what remains of the campaign after he underwent ankle surgery on Tuesday, there was further misery when fellow defender Fabian Schar suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder and forward Allan Saint-Maximin damaged a calf muscle, leaving them with only nine men on the pitch at the final whistle. The defeat was Newcastle’s third on the trot and neither his goal nor an enterprising display for much of the game came as much comfort to specialist midfielder Ritchie, who lined up at left wing-back.

He told NUFC TV: “You want to win games and pick up points and move up the table, and we’ve not done that the last few weeks.

“It’s a little kick up the a*** because going into next season, we’re certainly well aware that if you’re not at it, you don’t take your chances and you do leave yourselves that little bit open in this league, you get punished.

“It’s all good playing well, but this game is about results.”