Simpson - Carroll is class

Full-back hoping former favourite will not return to haunt Magpies

Andy Carroll: Returns to Newcastle on Sunday for the first time since leaving for Liverpool

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Danny Simpson admits Newcastle will need to pay special attention to former favourite Andy Carroll on Sunday when he returns to Tyneside with Liverpool.

England international Carroll is set to take in his first outing at St James' Park this weekend since completing a £35million switch to Anfield in January 2011.

The powerful frontman has found the going tough on Merseyside and is yet to produce the kind of form that convinced Liverpool to spend big on his services.

He will be determined to shine against his former employers, though, and Newcastle full-back Simpson concedes that the Magpies are bracing themselves for a backlash.

He said: "I still speak to him. He's been at Liverpool a while but we're still friends.

"I'm sure he's looking forward to coming back up here and hopefully he'll get a good reception.

Ability

"He's still got the quality, is still a threat and still dangerous so we're going to have to be aware of him."

Danny Simpson

Quotes of the week

"It's been tough for him but people forget he's still young. He didn't ask for that price tag, obviously Liverpool put that on him.

"He's got ability and he's still young. When you look at the strikers they have had over the years it's a big move for him and there is a lot of pressure on him.

"But I think he seems to have calmed down a lot and in the last few weeks he has been playing well.

"He's still got the quality, is still a threat and still dangerous so we're going to have to be aware of him. I don't mind him playing well but I don't want him to score."

Newcastle head into the weekend level on points with fifth-placed Chelsea and know a positive result on home soil will edge them one step closer to a top-six finish.

"It's a massive game for us," added Simpson.

"To be eight points clear of Liverpool at this stage is fantastic."