Simpson takes lead from Neville
Danny Simpson is hoping to emulate the career of the man who gave him the blueprint on how to be a successful full-back.
By Soriebah Kajue
Last Updated: 08/02/11 11:40am
Newcastle's Danny Simpson is hoping to emulate the career of the man who gave him the blueprint on how to be a successful modern day full-back.
Simpson, 23, was just a youngster at Manchester United emerging through the Old Trafford production line, when Gary Neville was the club's and country's premier right-back.
The United stalwart announced his retirement last week after a career spanning 20 years at Old Trafford that brought him a constellation of honours.
And now at Newcastle, the Salford-born defender is putting into practice what he learnt while watching the master at close quarters.
"Gary Neville and Denis Irwin showed me that being at a club like United, you need to just be solid," Simpson told skysports.com.
"Gary especially really helped me out a lot. When he was injured he would do extra work and he was always talking to me about how to improve, because we played in the same position.
Advice"He would talk to me about defending and made me realise that you had to try and get forward and be involved in the attacks as well.
"It wasn't until David Beckham left that people realised just how good a crosser of the ball that Gary was."
It is something that Simpson too has implemented into his game, much to the benefit of the Magpies attack, most notably the now departed Andy Carroll.
Neville is viewed as a real candidate for the reserve-team manager's job at Old Trafford and it is a role his former team-mate believes he would excel in.
"Gary would be perfect for that role," added Simpson. "He's always talking, always encouraging the young lads and knows what it takes to be at United.
"He was club captain, PFA delegate and someone that's not afraid of responsibility. He's probably already done most of the things in the job without even realising."