Top-scorer Dwight Gayle happy for goals to run dry, provided Newcastle secure Premier League football

Dwight Gayle & Matt Ritchie
Dwight Gayle & Matt Ritchie

Dwight Gayle doesn't care if he fails to net another goal between now and the end of the season, as long as Newcastle United are promoted.

The frontman was last weekend overtaken by Leeds United's Chris Wood at the top of the Championship goal scoring charts, despite notching his 21st of the season in the 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

And although Gayle admits to being disappointed by that fact, he says it matters little in the grand scheme of things, especially with a Premier League return at stake for the Magpies.

When asked about the race for the golden boot, the former Crystal Palace man, who only just returned from a hamstring problem but could start tomorrow night's clash with Reading, said: "I don't care if I don't score again this season as long as we win the title and get promotion.

"Of course you think about it when you see other people scoring.

"It has been a bit upsetting not being able to do anything about it.

Dwight Gayle celebrates scoring United's third in the weekend win over Huddersfield.

Dwight Gayle celebrates scoring United's third in the weekend win over Huddersfield.

"Hopefully now I can push on and have a good run in."

Having secured two wins on the home turf of their nearest rivals - Brighton and Huddersfield - in the last seven days spirits are high at St James's Park.

But that cannot be allowed to spill over into over confidence, says Gayle.

He believes the hard work has only just begun for Newcastle in their quest to get back to the big time at the first time of asking.

"There is no point in doing what we have done so far if we don't continue it," said Gayle.

"Anyone can mess it up so we need to stay focused.

"We know what we need to do now for the rest of the season.

Ahead of the trip to the Madejski Stadium, United are looking to extend their unbeaten run in the second tier to 11 games.

They are also keen to make sure they press home their lead at the top of the table, which stands at five points to second, 11 to third.

Gayle is not expecting an easy ride down south.

He said:"Reading are a great side.

"We know what they are about.

"They are a good possession side and carry a threat going forward.

"They have got their own eyes on the prize.

"We know they will be up for it as much as we are."

The last meeting between the pair was the game which Gayle got off and running in for United.

His two goals contributed to a 5-1 win over Jaap Stam's men, following on from two defeats in their opening pair of games at this level.

Looking back, Gayle said: "We were a bit down after the first two games.

"We have come on leaps and bounds since then.

"I think everyone is improving individually as well as as a team.

"It was difficult at the start of the season because we were new and gelling together was hard.

"But the gaffer was confident and now we are reaping the rewards. Hopefully that continues for the rest of the season."