Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Safety First, Euro Ambitions Second; Toon Target Is Same as It Was at the Start of The: Season - but Seventh Place Could Bring Rich Reward: Guthrie Gets His Chance to Shine

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Safety First, Euro Ambitions Second; Toon Target Is Same as It Was at the Start of The: Season - but Seventh Place Could Bring Rich Reward: Guthrie Gets His Chance to Shine

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER

DANNY SIMPSON is refusing to rule out a challenge for Europe by Newcastle United - but has insisted the Magpies must keep their priorities in order first. The popular Toon full-back and his team-mates set a target of survival at the start of their Premier League campaign and Simmo underlined that nothing has changed since August. Yet with Euro slots potentially extending to seventh place in the Premier League this season - should two of the top four sides succeed in the cups - Newcastle have to be deemed genuine contenders for Continental competition with 16 games left to play. Simpson told the Chronicle: "If we play like we did on Sunday and show that type of commitment we have a good chance. "We've had lads missing and the ones who have came in have done a very good job. Look at us as a squad and I think we could. "We'll take it game by game. You know what this league is like, you have to take it one game at a time. It's so tight. "We just have to build on what we have up until the end of the season. Hopefully we'll finish as high as we can." United fans would love to see their side finish ahead of Sunderland this season to go alongside the local bragging rights picked up with a 5-1 win over the Mackems in October and Sunday's draw. The Mancunian defender was still gutted that it wasn't a sweet double. Simpson reflected: "It hurts - that's the best way to put it. We worked so hard for the whole game and knew what the atmosphere was like and stood up to it. "We knew they'd be out for revenge and we handled it well. "We created the better chances and I can't remember them threatening us too much. "It was just a goal in injury time that did us, which hurts." Looking on the positive side, Simpson added: "We haven't been beaten by the old enemy. "That's one thing, and before the season you'd take that. "The main thing is not to lose. "We beat them and drew, so we're up on them. "As I say, it could have been two wins. "Harps made a save and it could have gone anywhere, but it hit Gyan on the chest and he knew nothing about it. …

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