Newcastle United midfielder Jack Colback is "irritated" by the good form of Huddersfield Town.
The gap between the automatic promotion spots and the chasing pack has been cut in recent weeks, with Newcastle now only five points ahead of the in-form Terriers.
Town have taken 18 points to the Magpies' most recent 14, and are eyeing a break into the automatic promotion spots.
And David Wagner's side's success has not gone unnoticed by the former Sunderland man.
“It’s getting irritating now, actually,” the midfielder told the Chronicle when asked about the chasing pack led by Town.
“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. But 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.
“The gap [to the play-off places] obviously was a bit more healthy, they have closed the gap, credit to them because they keep wining games, but we’ve got to play everyone around us. It’s in our own hands."
Newcastle host Aston Villa on Monday night and are hoping to return to the top of the Championship table - a spot Brighton took from them with a 2-0 win over Barnsley at the weekend.
Town host Reading on Tuesday night and Colback knows Newcastle cannot let up if they wish to achieve automatic promotion back to the Premier League come May.
“I think we have just been consistent,” he said. “We have obviously had setbacks but have always reacted to them well. We’ve never really suffered many consecutive defeats or had a spell where we have not won a game for a while.
“It has probably never been longer than two or three games max. Villa and Norwich have been through longer spells when they have not won a game.”
The midfielder - affectionately known as the 'ginger Pirlo' by the Toon Army - went on to suggest clubs like Newcastle and Aston Villa have more pressure on them in the run-in due to the expectations of the supporters.
He said: “It’s just the stature of the clubs and the fanbase. They are two clubs that should be in the Premier League. Obviously nobody’s got a given right to be there, but we didn’t perform well enough to keep our status last season.
“If you look at us and Villa and teams like that, the expectation is there to be promoted. We’ve dealt with that a bit better than Villa have, but if you compare that to the likes of Huddersfield and teams like that, no disrespect, the expectation isn’t there for them to win promotion or the league so they can probably play with a bit more freedom and that’s showing in their performances.”