By support

2nd Jan, 2017 | 8:32am

Dwight Gayle: This is what Newcastle must do to secure promotion

By Matt Farr

Goal machine Dwight Gayle insists Newcastle must change nothing if they are to win promotion back to the Premier League this season.

Gayle has been in blistering form for Rafa Benitez’s promotion candidates, netting 19 goals from just 22 appearances since the start of the campaign.

Newcastle are currently top of the Championship, one point clear of Brighton who have a game in hand, and are in a comfortable position in the promotion race.

However, three defeats in their last seven league games suggested changes might have to be made if Newcastle are to maintain their promotion bid. But Gayle insists that what they are already doing will be enough.

When asked about his hopes for 2017, he told the Newcastle Chronicle: “Promotion – as simple as that.

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“Of course it’s nice to be top of the table but obviously we’ve played more games than Brighton and we know they’re going to be there all of the way with us.

“The main thing for us is just to continue what we’re doing; if we can play the same way we have been and pick up the same number of points as we have done for the first half of the season, we know we’ll be there or thereabouts.

“So we need to continue to keep doing what we’re doing, keep pushing on and get more points on the board.”

Newcastle can put another three points on the board with a win over 22nd-placed Blackburn on Monday, a side who pulled-off a shock 1-0 victory over the Magpies when the two sides last met in December.

Failure to pick up all three points not only allows Brighton to steer ahead in the Championship title race, but it also opens the door for their promotion rivals.

Both Reading and Huddersfield, who are third and fourth, could reduce the deficit behind Newcastle to just six points; while Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday are also keeping pace in the play-off zone.

In other Newcastle news, the Magpies have tabled a bid for this international player.