Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Clark Has No Regrets over His Villa Exit; Cats Must Take Home Advantage Says Mac

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Clark Has No Regrets over His Villa Exit; Cats Must Take Home Advantage Says Mac

Article excerpt

Byline: Lee Ryder Chief Sports Writer lee.ryder@ncjmedia.co.uk

CIARAN Clark has revealed it was not a hard decision to quit Aston Villa after eight years. The Newcastle United defender says he jumped at the chance to sign for the Magpies and work under Rafa Benitez but is now focused on nothing but three points from Saturday night's clash at Villa Park.

Clark has made just three appearances for Newcastle so far this season but has a 100% winning record in Championship matches.

When asked how he will feel going back to Villa, Clark told the Chronicle: "I'll find it fine.

"It will be nice to see the lads and the staff around the place but other than that it will be getting on with business and trying to get the right result.

"It wasn't a hard decision at all, to be honest. It all happened pretty quickly.

"As soon as I found out the buyout clause had been met, straight away I wanted to get up the road and come and see what the place was about then get things sorted.

"Thankfully they did and I am fully settled in now and ready to go." Reflecting on why he switched to St James' Park and walked away from Roberto Di Matteo's side, Clark added: "It was a mixture of all things, the manager, size of the club and the signings we'd already made.

"As a club, you can't get any bigger. "The signings we'd made showed we were going to have a good go this year.

"It was the right time football-wise to get out and experience something different.

"I probably needed that fresh start in my career.

"It's a new manager, a new set of lads and a new club."

Relegation at Villa for Clark appeared to be the straw which broke the camel's back.

A succession of managers and fan protests meant Villa found themselves in the headlines for the wrong reasons.

The Republic of Ireland international said: "I'd seen a lot of stuff at Aston Villa and been through a lot of managers.

"You never know what is going to happen or what is around the corner. …

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