Ciaran Clark reveals what's put a '˜downer' on his scoring exploits at Newcastle

Ciaran Clark says time is running out for Newcastle United.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 14 January, 2019, 05:00
Ciaran Clark celebrates his goal.

Clark scored in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The defender’s header cancelled out Pedro’s early opener before the break, but Willian claimed all three points for the home side with a second-half strike.

Clark, United’s second-top scorer with three goals, left the field disappointed that the team hadn’t taken something from the game.

The club, which takes on Cardiff City at St James’s Park on Saturday, ended the weekend in the Premier League’s relegation zone.

“It’s obviously nice to score, but when the result doesn’t go your way it puts a bit of a downer on me scoring again,” said Clark.

“It’s a great feeling scoring here at Stamford Bridge, running to the travelling fans and celebrating.

“But the results are the most important thing for us, and we have to put them right quickly.”

Rafa Benitez’s side – who face Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park tomorrow night in an FA Cup replay – believed they could cause an upset after getting back into the game.

“It was a frustrating result in the end,” said Clark.

“We went in at half-time level and, coming out second half, we had the belief we could actually cause an upset.

“We thought we could get something out of the game, so to come out of it with a 2-1 defeat was disappointing.

“But there were positives to take from this game.

“We showed the right character and attitude until the end, we kept putting them under pressure, and we had them on the back foot towards the end.

“That’s the belief, character and attitude we need to show for the remainder of the season.

“We had them under pressure, we believed in ourselves, caused them problems and had a few half-chances.

“On another day, we may have nicked something.

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“We’ll bank the positives, look to the cup replay during the week, which we will concentrate on first before a massive game against Cardiff.”

Newcastle came from behind to draw 1-1 with Blackburn the weekend before last.

Benitez has little appetite for a cup run given the importance of staying up, but Clark wants to progress in the competition.

“Of course we want to win and get to the next round of the cup, because that would be a big thing for us and this club,” said the 29-year-old.

“We want to put ourselves in a position where we can go on a cup run, which would be great for the team, the fans and the club.

“We need to beat Blackburn to do that, and we aim to.”

The Cardiff game, meanwhile, has taken on an even greater importance given recent results.

United, however, have only won two games at home all season.

“It’s a massive game and we have to keep working on improving key areas,” said Clark.

“We’re working hard in training, but we have the attitude and the character already, it’s just about the fine details.

“We’ve been in the bottom three before and we’ve shown we can get out of it.

We’ll show we can do it again, I have no doubt about that.

“Nothing changes for us in terms of mindset. We won’t change anything now we’re in the bottom three.

“We’ll just keep working hard, focus on the positives and make sure we start getting the right results.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle’s Under-23s take on West Bromwich Albion at Whitley Park tonight (7pm kick-off).