Midfielder Jack Colback admits that Newcastle's inability to break away from the teams in the play-off places is beginning to become 'irritating'.

Newcastle United currently sit second placed in the Sky Bet Championship, two points behind leaders Brighton and just five points ahead of Huddersfield, and have struggled to build a commanding gap over the chasing teams. 

Rotherham United v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship

Via the ​Daily Mail, Colback stated: 'It's getting irritating now, actually. Of course you have a look at the other results. They are a part of the competition, you're going to have a look after games.

'We obviously focus on ourselves first. We know that we've put ourselves in a position where if we keep winning games or stay unbeaten and are consistent, then we'll go up so we will focus on that first and foremost.'

Huddersfield recently closed the gap on Newcastle with a dramatic 3-2 win at Rotherham, whilst Rafael Benitez's side were held to a 2-2 draw against Norwich. 

'The gap obviously was a bit more healthy, they have closed the gap - credit to them because they keep winning games. But we've got to play everyone around us. Again it shows it's in our own hands.'

Newcastle United v Nottingham Forest - Sky Bet Championship

Newcastle's promotion push will be boosted for the run in with the return of 20-goal striker Dwight Gayle. Whilst the Magpies have coped well in Gayle's absence, manager Benitez is looking forward to having his top scorer back.

'We were winning without him and that was important. But were we missing a clinical finisher? Yes. Were we missing a player with pace and good movement? Yes.

'The others were doing a good job - [Daryl] Murphy and [Aleksandar] Mitrovic have been great - but he is a different kind of striker who gives you the opportunity to change things during the games.'