Newcastle United star 'irritated' by Sheffield Wednesday and the rest of the Championship's chasing pack
Newcastle United defender Jack Colback admits to getting fed up with the Championship's top sides refusing to give up in the chase for promotion.
The Magpies were firm favourites to reclaim their place back in the top flight having dropped last season. However, while Rafa Benitez's side have been swapping places with Brighton in first and second for much of the campaign, the rest of the teams, including Sheffield Wednesday have been staying within reach.
Newcastle, currently two points behind Brighton, can go back to the top of the table with a win over Aston Villa tonight but that would place them just 11 points ahead of Wednesday who occupy the final play-off place.
It would be a surprise if either Brighton or Newcastle were caught before the end of the season, however Colback says it has been annoying from a Toon point of view that they haven't been able to build a bigger gap and properly shake off the others.
"It's getting irritating now, actually," he joked. "Of course you have a look at the other results. They are a part of the competition, you're going to have a look after games.
"We obviously focus on ourselves first. We know that we've put ourselves in a position where if we keep winning games or stay unbeaten and are consistent, then we'll go up so we will focus on that first and foremost."
He added: "The gap obviously was a bit more healthy, they have closed the gap - credit to them because they keep wining games. But we've got to play everyone around us. Again it shows it's in our own hands."
Wednesday, who beat Newcastle 1-0 on Boxing Day at St James' Park, are currently in a rich vein of form, having won four in a row and take on Brentford tomorrow night at Hillsborough, where a win would take them into fourth.
Newcastle have a crucial period coming up. They play Brighton on February 28, which is followed up by trips to third-placed Huddersfield Town and Reading who are currently in fourth.
Benitez's side come to Hillsborough on April 8.