By Matt Farr

Matt Ritchie claims that his Newcastle teammates are determined to lift the Championship title this season.

Asked by TalkSport if the players wanted to win the title, Ritchie insisted that they were determined to do more than finish second-best.

The 27-year-old’s comments come after Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez admitted he would be satisfied if his side were to seal promotion to the Premier League in second-place.

Ritchie said: “Obviously promotion is the key, but to win the league is a lot nicer.

“I had that feeling with Bournemouth and that feeling to win the league is something really special.

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“So hopefully we can have that at the end of the season.”

Newcastle gave themselves a major boost in the race for promotion on Tuesday with a late comeback victory over main rivals Brighton, which saw them move two points clear at the top of the league.

With 12 games remaining in the Championship campaign, Newcastle are far from home and dry, and are likely to face fierce competition for the title in the coming weeks.

The rivalry between Newcastle and Brighton in particular, has been an entertaining affair, with the two sides neck-and-neck for much of the season.

Huddersfield, meanwhile, are currently third in the league and six points behind Brighton; but with one extra game to play over their promotion rivals, are also breathing down Newcastle’s necks.

Benitez’s side are now undefeated in their last nine league games, heading into a crucial period that sees them go up against promotion rivals Huddersfield, Reading and Fulham.

Ritchie has played an instrumental role in Newcastle’s bid for title glory this season, contributing 12 goals and 10 assists from 38 appearances.

In other Newcastle news, these were the worst three Newcastle players during the win over Brighton on Tuesday.

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