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Wednesday 23 November 2011

Simpson relishing Old Trafford return

Newcastle defender in confident mood ahead of trip to former club

Newcastle's ever present defender Danny Simpson

There will be no fear factor for Danny Simpson when he walks through the doors at Old Trafford on Saturday.

It will be familiar surroundings for the Newcastle defender, who came through the Manchester United youth system that has produced a host of household names over the years.

It is also a second trip to Manchester in a week for the Salford-born full-back, who was a boyhood fan of the Red Devils and has friends and family who will be at the game as season ticket holders.

Simpson was part of the Newcastle side that lost 3-1 away to leaders Manchester City last Saturday – the first time the club has tasted defeat in the 2011-12 Barclays Premier League season.

The 24-year-old has been a fixture in the Magpies side that has the joint-best defensive record in the League, playing all but 14 minutes of this season.

They face the reigning champions on Saturday - the middle match of a tough three-game run that sees them face Chelsea next weekend - full of confidence, sitting third in the table.

“We're loving it and we're looking forward to going there try to get something," said Simpson.

Newcastle were the opponents for Simpson’s last ever Barclays Premier League appearance for Manchester United, back in January 2008.

"We will not be scared of going there"
- Simpson

That day at Old Trafford, Simpson replaced Patrice Evra in the latter stages with the hosts leading 2-0. They finished up 6-0 winners on a day to forget for the Magpies but one to treasure for Simpson.

Over three-and-a-half years later he will line-up for the other United as Newcastle look for their first Barclays Premier League win at Old Trafford at the 18th attempt.

“This will be my first time back,” he added. “I’ve not played there for a long time. I’ve obviously played against Manchester United at our place but this is something different even from that.

“It is even more special that I will be going back as part of a Newcastle United team that is very, very good. We will not be scared of going there.

“It is a big moment, it will be nice for me to go back to Old Trafford but Newcastle and getting the three points will be my priority.”

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Key Points

  • Simpson came through Man Utd youth system
  • Played in 6-0 win over Newcastle at Old Trafford in 2008
  • Has started every League game for Magpies this season