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Ciaran Clark admits he considered leaving Newcastle

:Headline: Ciaran Clark admits he considered leaving Newcastle:
The defender was frustrated at his lack of opportunities.
PA | 1mo

Ciaran Clark has admitted he might have left Newcastle this summer as he sought the game-time to keep his international career alive.

The 30-year-old central defender has burst back on to the Premier League scene in recent weeks, scoring in the Magpies' victories over West Ham and Bournemouth to cap impressive individual performances after having to remain patient.

However, he has revealed he might not have been around to do so had new head coach Steve Bruce not wanted to have a look at all the players he had inherited from predecessor Rafael Benitez.

Ciaran Clark has returned to the Newcastle team since Steve Bruce became manager (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Asked if he had considered a move away from Tyneside after limited opportunities, Clark said: "Yes, definitely.

"It was something I was thinking about in the summer. I didn't know what the situation would be at club level with the manager and I'd thought about that a lot.

"Steve came in late into pre-season and there wasn't much time then to do anything, really, I guess and looking at it, he obviously wanted a chance to look at everyone that he had in the squad.

"I had a chat with him and I said, 'This season, I'd love to be playing games because I've had a couple of years now where I'm in the team and out of the team and it's a bit hit and miss'.

"He understood that and said, 'Look we'll see how the first part of the season goes and we'll re-assess that come January'.

Clark is looking to reestablish himself with the Republic under manager Mick McCarthy (Niall Carson/PA)

"He was really fair with me and then it was down to me to just keep training hard and working hard and seeing what would happen."

Clark's form has been such that he has won a recall to the Republic of Ireland squad and will start Thursday night's friendly against New Zealand in Dublin, giving him a chance to catch manager Mick McCarthy's eye once again ahead on Monday's final Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark.

He has not played for his country since a 4-1 Nations League defeat in Wales in September last year and is relishing the opportunity to pull on the green shirt once again after admitting his frustration at not making the squad.

He said: "It's hard, but that's just football, you know? If you're not playing games regularly, then it's hard to justify being picked.

"It's frustrating and disappointing, but it gives you that motivation to keep working hard day in, day out and trying to force your way back into it at club level to then to try to get into the squads."

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool17161042142849
2Leicester CityLeicester17123240112939
3Manchester CityMan City16102444192532
4Chelsea179263125629
5Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd176742116525
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd166642519624
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves165922319424
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs166553023723
9Arsenal165742424022
10Crystal Palace166461418-422
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle176471724-722
12Burnley176382229-721
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton165472024-419
14Bournemouth175481924-519
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham175481928-919
16Everton165291928-917
17Aston Villa1743102330-715
18Southampton1743101836-1815
19Norwich CityNorwich1733111835-1712
20Watford171610932-239
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool17161042142849
2Leicester CityLeicester17123240112939
3Manchester CityMan City16102444192532
4Chelsea179263125629
5Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd176742116525
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd166642519624
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves165922319424
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs166553023723
9Arsenal165742424022
10Crystal Palace166461418-422
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle176471724-722
12Burnley176382229-721
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton165472024-419
14Bournemouth175481924-519
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham175481928-919
16Everton165291928-917
17Aston Villa1743102330-715
18Southampton1743101836-1815
19Norwich CityNorwich1733111835-1712
20Watford171610932-239
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