Ciaran Clark’s verdict on Newcastle’s Championship challenge – and Villa under Steve Bruce

Ciaran Clark
Ciaran Clark

Ciaran Clark says Newcastle United have “done nothing yet”.

The club is hoping to be Christmas No 1 in the Championship.

Rafa Benitez’s side take on Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium tonight in their penultimate fixture before a nine-day festive break.

Clark joined from Aston Villa in the summer.

And the defender, outstanding alongside Jamaal Lascelles over the past two months, is enjoying the challenges that come with being at the top of the table.

“The fact we are winning games, the position we are in, obviously helps,” said Clark.

We have to keep it going, we can’t get complacent. We have done nothing yet.

Ciaran Clark

“They (the fans) are enjoying watching us play, so they give us a massive boost when we are on the pitch.

“It is just an enjoyable palace to be at the minute.

“But we have to keep it going, we can’t get complacent. We have done nothing yet.”

Clark, so disappointed to be relegated with Villa, is desperate to be back in the Premier League with United.

“Every player wants to be in the best leagues in the world, and the Premier League is one of those,” said the Republic of Ireland international.

“To come to Newcastle is massive for me.

“With the quality players that are here, and there were those that got bought in too, we were thinking we will have a right go and we have done that so far.

“But it takes more than quality players. There needs to be a strong bond and a good attitude. We need to just take every game as it comes.”

United – who travel to Burton Albion on Saturday – could be top at Christmas.

“It is what we want,” said Clark. “At the start of the season we would have taken that.”

Steve Bruce, meanwhile, is slowly guiding Villa up the table.

Bruce succeeded the sacked Roberto Di Matteo at Villa Park in October.

Clark said: “Since Steve Bruce has gone in they are doing really well. They have picked up. It’s good for the club.

“They are doing well, but my focus is Newcastle and doing the best we can.”