Simpson targets cup glory
Toon hoping to make Carling Cup run
Last Updated: September 23, 2011 4:11pm
Danny Simpson has challenged Newcastle to emulate Birmingham's Carling Cup success last season.
The Blues made it all the way to the final and overcame Arsenal to win their first major silverware in 48 years.
Newcastle have not lifted silverware since the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and after overcoming Nottingham Forest in a 4-3 thriller on Tuesday night, Simpson reckons this could be the Toon's year.
Alan Pardew's men have gone seven unbeaten so far this term and Simpson believes the Magpies can cash in on the top four's UEFA Champions League distractions to reach the Carling Cup final.
"We think we can go far in the Carling Cup - look at Birmingham last season," he said.
"There's excitement about this competition - it's not just about the top four, who have a lot of Champions League commitments.
"The boss told us he wants to do well in this competition and we'd love to play at Wembley."
Forest twice equalised to send Tuesday's third-round tie into extra-time, three minutes into which Simpson managed to beat home keeper Lee Camp from 40 yards.
But the 24-year-old right-back, who claimed just his second goal in 129 appearances, admitted he meant to cross the ball rather than go for goal.
"I'd like to say I meant to score, but I just overlapped and thought I'll whip it in to the box," he said.
"When I looked up, it had gone in the top corner. I'll take that all day and obviously need to have a few more swings."
Simpson was almost sold to Aston Villa in the summer but the ex-Manchester United trainee has since been an ever-present for Newcastle and reckons the Magpies can improve on last season's 12th-place finish.
"I'm 100 per cent committed to Newcastle," he said. "I love this club and just want to keep that starting shirt if I can.
"The squad is better than it was last year, and I think we've got more belief. We have more attacking options and when we concede goals we are capable of hitting back."