Chris Hughton: Defence key for Newcastle

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Manager Chris Hughton has warned his Newcastle United side that they will need to be stronger in defence to ensure their survival in the Premier League this season.

The Magpies stormed to the Championship title by a massive 11-point margin last term, but Hughton is well aware of the tougher challenges ahead.

He told The Journal:"I think as a team having to be a bit smarter than we were last year in terms of tactics.

"There are things that we could get away with in the Championship last year that we won't get away with this year.

"Some of the teams we are playing against are just as formidable away from home as they are at home and we have to be aware of that.

"What we were able to do last season was be very strong defensively. We scored a lot of goals, but we were strong at the back. If possible, I want us to be even harder to beat this season.

"It will be tougher in this division with the quality we'll be up against but that is the challenge.

"The most important thing is we've got to give ourselves every chance. We have to give ourselves a platform to build on and that is at the back."

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