Clark's Verdict On Tough Season

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

Image result for Newcastle UnitedThe 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 NUFC.co.uk.

"We knew it was going to be tough coming into the season. We obviously believed in our ability, but to finish in the top ten 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 subsitute following the solid partnership of Jamaal Lascelles and Florian Lejeune in central defence.