CHRIS Hughton will resist the temptation to put a points target on promotion as he looks to ensure there is no hint of complacency in the camp as Newcastle stretched their lead over third-placed West Brom to nine points.
Newcastle have scored 13 goals in their last three home games and appear to be heading straight back to the Premier League, although Hughton will continue to guard against any slip-ups.
Although both WBA and Nottingham Forest are dropping points, Newcastle still have plenty of work to do before they can start to think about top-flight football again – and Hughton will constantly remind them of that.
He said: “Where there is a good thing for us at this moment is there is pressure at the top, because whatever we say about WBA and Forest, they are only two or three wins and two or three poor results away from us.
“Maybe that pressure has been good for us, it has kept us going knowing we need to take something from every game.
“We are where we are on merit and there is no doubt the top team is the one everybody wants to beat, who have to maintain the position they are in.
“That is not easy, a lot of pressure comes with that, but we have had a group of lads with enough quality to stay there. We need to do that for another 12 games.
“This was a big day for the club. It is unusual for us to score that amount of goals, and to score that amount of goals here at St James’, playing a brand of football which you know these supporters enjoy is good. We are nine points clear of third and this was arguably our best performance, other than the Cardiff game, at home this season.”
Hughton admitted, however, he was annoyed his defenders had allowed Barnsley’s Daniel Bogdanovic to score a consolation goal in the second half.
He said: “The perfectionist in me is frustrated by the late goal we conceded. It was the first thing the lads were talking about in the changing-room afterwards.”