Newcastle's Ciaran Clark keen to make Brighton feel the heat in the race for the Championship title

Ciaran Clark
Ciaran Clark

Promotion was, without doubt, Newcastle and Rafa Benitez's main aim this season.

But now that has been achieved, Ciaran Clark says United have turned their heads to the title race.

And given that the Magpies are playing a day before Championship leaders Brighton, when they travel to Cardiff City tomorrow night, Clark is keen to make Albion feel the heat.

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"We know if we win we can put a bit of pressure on Brighton," he said to NUFC TV ahead of United's final away game of the campaign.

"It's about putting in two positive performances - that is all we can do.

"We want to make it as difficult as possible for them.

"They know what they have to do but we have to try and do our job, too.

"We know that a positive result could take it to the last game. Who knows? We will see what happens."

Facts never lie. The table doesn't tend to either.

And with just 180 minutes of second tier football remaining for both United and Chris Hughton's Seagulls, the leaders are four points clear.

That means they need to win just one of their games to ensure the Championship title heads to the south coast.

While Clark is hopeful his side can overturn the deficit, he is content United will be a Premier League side next season, unlike former club Aston Villa, who are languishing in mid-table, despite a late season upturn in fortunes.

"We are happy that we are guaranteed to go up," said Republic of Ireland international, who returned from injury earlier this week against Preston.

"But we still want to win the game on Friday.

"People might be more relaxed but we don't want to be too relaxed. We want to end the season on a high.

"We know we have a good record this season away.

"We want to put on a performance for the travelling fans."