United defender Danny Simpson is playing an integral role as Newcastle bid to return to the top flight, starting virtually every game for the table-topping Magpies. ManUtd.com grabbed 10 minutes with Simmo for the story so far...
You've been on plenty of loan before; how does this one compare?
It’s up there. Obviously with Newcastle being relegated last season and everything that’s gone on, people think there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Since I’ve been here I’ve only seen a good bunch of players and staff, and we’re playing well and with a lot of confidence. The fans are crazy for football, so it’s up there among the best.
Are there any parallels between United and Newcastle?
In some ways. In the Premier League, everybody sees United at Old Trafford as the fixture, the big scalp to go for, while United are expected to win every game. On a smaller scale, it’s like that here. Newcastle at St James’ Park is what all the Championship clubs look at now. 45,000 fans turn up, they’re very passionate and expect wins, and the expectations and demands are very high.
Where are you living?
I’m in an apartment in Newcastle. I was in a hotel for a few weeks, but it’s sorted now. It’s easy. Fraizer (Campbell) is close by; he was round recently actually to play a bit of Pro Evo - old habits die hard! We’re still doing the same things we used to. To be fair, I won last time we played. He’s good, but he had an off-day and I took advantage!
Have all the players banded together, given Newcastle's off-field turmoil?
Obviously we can’t affect what goes on upstairs. We’ve just got to train, play matches and win points. I think it has pulled us together. A few people have left, so the small group that remains has been pulled tight together and we’re all fighting for one another to do well and get out of this league.
What are your new team-mates like?
I know a few of them anyway – obviously Butty (Nicky Butt) and Smudge (Alan Smith), and I know Danny Guthrie from when he used to be United when he was 14. I’ve always stayed in contact with him since he left, so coming up here has been great. Everyone’s great. Even the lads I didn’t know made it very easy