​Newcastle defender Ciaran Clark insists he and his teammates will be 'ready' for the Premier League next season, following their recent promotion back to the big time. 

Under the management of Rafael Benitez, the Magpies secured an immediate return to the Premier League by finishing top of the Championship. 

Newcastle United v Barnsley - Sky Bet Championship

Clark himself has experience of playing in the top flight, however, he was part of an Aston Villa side that have gone down as one of the worst in Premier League history after they were relegated a whole month before the end of the 2015/2016 season. 

Despite the failings of the past, Clark believes that he has learned a lot personally since moving to St James' Park last summer, and is adamant that the team are ready for the step up in quality. 

He told the ​Shields Gazette“I feel like I am learning all the time.

“To move to such a big club and being able to work with the players and staff that we have here has been great. There are exciting times ahead. 

“Everyone is obviously looking forward to the next season, playing against some of the best players and best stadiums in the world.

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“We will be ready. We will prepare well and be ready for the challenge.”

Following Aston Villa's relegation from the Premier League just over a year ago, Clark opted to end his 16-year association with his boyhood club and join Newcastle, who had also dropped out of the top flight in the very same season. 

With his first year now behind him, the Republic of Ireland international admits he has loved his experience so far and is keen to point out that the Magpies' promotion was a team effort. 

He added: “For me personally I have really enjoyed this season. It’s easy to say that after we are up but it has been fantastic for me.

“Promotion was our aim from the start of the season. We all worked so hard, throughout the whole of the season to achieve it - the staff, the players.”