By Danny Wright

22nd Feb, 2017 | 4:18pm

Micky Quinn: Newcastle proving promotion rivals they are going nowhere

By Danny Wright

Former Newcastle striker Micky Quinn has praised Rafa Benitez’s ruthlessness towards other clubs in the Championship.

He said in his column in the Chronicle that the Magpies are proving to fellow promotion contenders that they are top of the pile for a reason and they won’t be giving up on it anytime soon.

Benitez’s side face struggling Bristol City next in the league and Quinn has called for them to show the same ruthlessness they showed Aston Villa in the 2-0 victory on Monday night.

After Bristol, Newcastle’s next three games are against all three of the teams who are immediately below them in the league, all of which being away fixtures.

They face a 690 mile round trip next Tuesday night when they play second-placed Brighton before visits to Huddersfield and Reading in a group of fixtures that will prove decisive as to who earns automatic promotion to the Premier League.

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“Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading will have been watching on hoping for a slip up but the message was: ‘We’re going nowhere’,” Quinn said.

“Follow it up with three points against Bristol City and Newcastle can go into that run of games against those three with a bit of a cushion between themselves and the chasing pack.

“Those three matches are going to be huge for the rest of the season but Rafa’s message has been concentrate on Bristol City on Saturday. As ever, he’s spot on. Being ruthless against struggling teams is what champions do.”

Newcastle are currently one point clear of Brighton at the top of the table but Huddersfield managed to close the gap between third and second as they beat Reading on Tuesday night to move within four points of a top two spot.

After relegation from the Premier League for the second time in their history, Newcastle will be hoping to secure an instant return similar to what they achieved in 2009/10 when they won the league with 102 points.

In other Newcastle news, a report details an injury update on this attacker.

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