Simpson targets strong finish

Full-back admits Magpies cannot afford to get complacent

Danny Simpson: Hoping to play his part in bringing European football back to Newcastle

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Danny Simpson admits a timely run of form has aided Newcastle's quest for a top-six finish, but insists they cannot afford to relax.

A 2-0 victory over Liverpool on Sunday saw the Magpies open up a 10-point gap on seventh-placed Everton, with Kenny Dalglish's Reds a point further back.

A vital win on home soil has also seen Alan Pardew's side draw level with Chelsea in fifth, but talk of UEFA Champions League qualification continues to be played down at St James' Park.

Newcastle are, however, determined to return to continental competition and Simpson says there will be no letting up from them as they enter the final seven fixtures of what they hope will be a successful Premier League campaign.

"We have given ourselves a great chance," said the Magpies full-back.

"We have won the last three on the bounce now, and that's the first time we have done that this season.

"Maybe Liverpool will hopefully now give up and let them concentrate on the cup (FA Cup) they are in, but anything can happen in the league.

Focus

"We have got to stay focused. The gaffer said with 10 games to go: 'The season starts now, let's enjoy it and make the most of it'."

Danny Simpson

Quotes of the week

"We have got to stay focused. The gaffer said with 10 games to go: 'The season starts now, let's enjoy it and make the most of it'.

"We have started off with three wins on the bounce, so we have got to keep going, and we have got a good couple of games coming in."

In seeing off Liverpool, Newcastle were also able to get one over on a number of familiar faces.

Dalglish once bossed the North East outfit, while Craig Bellamy spent four years with the club between 2001 and 2005.

It was, however, Andy Carroll and Jose Enrique who bore the brunt of terrace taunts on Sunday, with the pair having opted to swap life on Tyneside for that on Merseyside in January and August 2011 respectively.

On the success Newcastle are enjoying since parting with the duo, Simpson said: "That's football. They have moved on and we have moved on. When they moved on, we brought new players in.

"They have gone on another journey and we are on one now, and we are putting ourselves in a great position for European football."