Championship run-in will be no easy ride for Newcastle - Grant Hanley

The Championship will offer up no gifts for Newcastle United between now and the end of the season - that's the view of second tier stalwart Grant Hanley.

The Magpies take on relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic at St James's Park on Saturday, then follow that up with a home clash against fellow strugglers Burton Albion next midweek.

And while, on paper, they may look very winnable games for Rafa Benitez's men, Hanley, well versed in the trials and tribulations of the division from his time as skipper of Blackburn

Rovers, knows United won't have it all their own way, no matter the opposition.

"I don’t think it matters who you are up against in this league," he said.

"Every game is going to be tough.

"Whoever you are going out there against, every team is going to be well organised and hard to beat.

"We can’t look too far in front of us."

Hanley could well start at the heart of defence for United in Championship for just the fourth time this season on Saturday, due a knee injury which forced Ciaran Clark out of international duty with the Republic of Ireland.

He's hoping to strike up a similar partnership with captain Jamaal Lascelles.

"It’s always good to play with good players," he said.

"When you’re out there and you’ve got good players around you, it makes your job a bit easier.

"It means you can concentrate on doing your own job.

"I enjoyed playing (with Lascelles) in the last game, but all the players here are top quality so it’s enjoyable whenever you go out there."

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