Having slipped to 15th on the back of 12 goals conceded in four outings (one of them in the JP Trophy), Ritchie added: “We have not had a settled back four all the way through the season.
“We have had a lot of enforced chopping and changing and, with these two big home games on the horizon, I’m delighted to have got someone with Ronnie’s experience and steadying influence.
“He hasn’t been playing and, when I chatted with Tony Mowbray (the West Brom manager), he said he felt Ronnie needed to reignite his football and that this move could be ideal for him and for us. It’s not far for Ronnie to travel over from Manchester and I know he’ll enjoy joining our squad.”
Central midfielders Michael Collins and Andy Holdsworth are among those who have been ill in the last 48 hours. Striker Luke Beckett and keeper Matt Glennon also didn’t train on Tuesday.
Back-up keeper Simon Eastwood was left out of last night’s 2-1 Reserve victory over Bradford as a precaution, allowing England Under 17 cap Alex Smithies to step up.