MX23RW : Tuesday, December 18 13:51:01

Ciaran Clark: 'Newcastle United can finish higher next season'

Clark: 'Newcastle can finish higher'
© Reuters
Newcastle defender Ciaran Clark believes that his side can finish higher in the Premier League next season, despite finishing a respectable 10th in the last campaign.

Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark has insisted that his side can finish higher in the top half of the table next season.

The Magpies finished a respectable 10th in the table and comfortably avoided relegation in their return to the top flight of English football last season.

Clark has admitted that a top-half finish came as a surprise to Rafael Benitez's squad, but the Republic of Ireland defender believes that the club can continue to build on their league success.

"If you'd offered us that at the start of the season, a lot of us wouldn't have believed it to be honest," Clark told the club's official website.

"We knew it was going to be tough coming into the season. We obviously believed in our ability, but to finish in the top 10 at the end of it was unbelievable. It's been a massive effort throughout the whole club - not just the players on the pitch but the staff, all around the ground and all around the training ground, and everyone involved with Newcastle. The fans have travelled home and away and it's been a massive help to everyone. The support was unbelievable and it was a massive club effort.

"We always believed in our ability; sometimes we went through rough stages and tough spells but we always believed we'd come out of it and turn it round by keeping doing what we were doing and what we were practising on the training pitch. Everyone put a massive effort in. It was a long season but it's where we wanted to be - to be in the Premier League, playing against the best teams and best players in the world.

"It was up and down but our aim was just to get as many points on the board as possible and compete against the teams that were around us. The aim now is we want to improve on what we've done. Hopefully we can do that next season, but everyone right now is enjoying their break and looking forward to coming back and cracking on again."

Clark spent the majority of the season as a substitute due to the solid partnership of Jamaal Lascelles and Florian Lejeune in central defence.


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1714303773045
2Manchester CityMan City17142148103844
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs17130431161539
4Chelsea17114235142137
5Arsenal17104337231434
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd177552929026
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves177461919025
8Everton176652422224
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham177372525024
10Watford177372325-224
11Bournemouth177282528-323
12Leicester CityLeicester176472121022
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton176382024-421
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle174491422-816
15Crystal Palace1743101423-915
16Cardiff CityCardiff1742111733-1614
17Southampton172691632-1612
18Burnley1733111533-1812
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1724111028-1810
20Fulham1723121642-269

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